Skier Killed in Avalanche in Alaska Yesterday | 2nd Avalanche Death of Season in USA

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image of the avalanche that killed one skier on Hatcher Pass, AK on Wednesday. image: hatch pass avy center

“This avalanche was absolutely human triggered.  One person triggered it, one person got carried, and one person ended up dead.” – Jed Workman, Director of Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center told KTUU

One backcountry skier triggered, was caught in, and was killed by an avalanche off Hatcher Pass, AK on Wednesday afternoon.  

His two ski partners were able to located him, extract him, and perform CPR on him.  Unfortunately, they were unable to revive the injured skier and he died at the scene and his body was left at the scene.

“They pulled the individual out of the snow and they started CPR and after a while it was unscuccessfull and eventually they walked out.” – Dan Gunderson, Wildlife Troopers told KTUU

Map showing location of Hatcher Pass, AK.

Report of the avalanche first came in to emergency crews at 2:30pm on Wednesday.  Palmer emergency crews, state troopers, and state parks rangers all responded to the avalanche report.

Alaska State Park Rangers will begin their body recovery efforts this morning and they’re asking the public to please stay away from the avalanche accident area and the Archangel Road area of Hatcher Pass, AK.

“We don’t want someone up above triggering an avalanche on top of the recovery.” – Dan Gunderson, Wildlife Troopers

The Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center last issued an avalanche on Monday/Tuesday this week and it ranked the avalanche danger at CONSIDERABLE for terrain above 3,500′.

“We really want to reiterate: when it’s [the avalanche danger rating] Considerable, High, or Extreme, those are the days to back off.  If you have any question, turn around and go home.” – Jed Workman, Director of Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center told KTUU

Leading up to this avalanche fatality, the Hatcher Pass area experienced high winds that transported snow that created wind slabs.

“Over the past several days there have been some really high winds that have transported snow and have built some dangerous wind slabs.  We’ve seen a number of people trigger wind slabs.” – Jed Workman, Director of Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center told KTUU

Avalanche report issued on Monday for the Hatcher Pass area.  image: hatcher pass avy center

This was the 2nd avalanche fatality of the 2017/18 season in the USA. 

The first was the tragic story of Inge Perkins and Hayden Kennedy where Inge died in an avalanche in Montana and Hayden took his own life in grief.

Final Details Emerge in Montana Avalanche Death & Suicide: Skier Who Died in Avalanche Had Beacon Turned Off in Backpack

Hatcher Pass, AK will see 6 hours and 36 minutes of daylight today.

Learn more about Wind Loading here:

Backcountry Essentials: How Wind Loading Works


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