Tragic news out of Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula where an avalanche took the life a skier.

Anchorage Daily News reports three men were traveling uphill on John Mountain in the Kenai Mountains when they “triggered an avalanche that propagated 100-200 feet above them.”

The avalanche was approximately 150 feet wide and ran for 700 vertical feet. The avalanche and carried the men 800 – 1,000 feet downslope. After coming to a stop, two of the skiers were able to self-rescue and the third unfortunately did not survive.

Read the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center’s preliminary report below.

Our thoughts are with the victim’s family and friends.

Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center:

Location: John Mtn (Kenai Mountains)

DATE: Tue, February 13th, 2024



SUMMARY: Three backcountry skiers were caught in an avalanche. Two suffered injuries and one did not survive.

Preliminary Report:

An avalanche was triggered on Tuesday afternoon, February 13, by a group of three backcountry skiers on John Mtn in the Kenai Mountains. The party was ascending the slope when they triggered an avalanche that propagated 100-200 feet above them. All three members were caught and carried in the avalanche. Two of the three people involved sustained injuries and the third did not survive. The avalanche was roughly 150 feet wide and ran for 700 vertical feet, failing on a layer of weak faceted snow roughly 2 feet deep at the crown. The recent sustained strong easterly winds had likely loaded the start zone, adding stress to that weak layer.

The Alaska State Troopers, US Forest Service Law Enforcement, Cooper Landing EMS, and Moose Pass EMS responded to the incident. CNFAC forecasters visited the site the following day (Feb. 14) to collect preliminary field data. We will publish a full report on this incident by the end of next week.

These are extremely difficult times and our deepest condolences go out to the friends and family of the deceased.

AK State Troopers: Press Release

Media article: Alaska News Source

Avalanche Information

Type: Soft Slab
Problem/Character: Persistent Slab
Crown Depth: 24”
Width: 150’
Vertical Run: 700’
Trigger: Skier
Weak Layer: 1mm Facets
Aspect: Northwest
Elevation: 2600’
Slope Angle: 30-36 degrees
Code: SS-ASu-R2-D2.5-O

Image credit Alaska DOT&PF

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