Avalanche Kills Skier On Marmot Mountain At Hatcher Pass In Alaska (UPDATED)


Hatcher Pass, Alaska – On Wednesday, November 22, 2017 a skier was killed in an avalanche on a southerly aspect at 3700′ in the President’s Ridge Area on Marmot Mountain in the Hatcher Pass backcountry in Alaska.

Alaska | Pixabay Image
Alaska | Pixabay Image

The skier was riding with two other skiers when the human-triggered avalanche occurred. Only the victim was caught, while the other skiers escaped the deadly slide.

All three skiers were wearing avalanche transceivers. The victim’s partners located the man, dug him out, and initiated first aid and CPR. Unfortunately, the skier did not survive. Eventually the partners walked out and met search and rescue.

Authorities learned that skiers were involved in an avalanche near Archangel Road on Hatcher Pass around 14:30. A helicopter responded, but was unable to land. Rescuers will reassess conditions in daylight.

The Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center rated avalanche conditions as “considerable” on Monday in their last avalanche report. They posted a photo and confirmed the fatality on Marmot Mountain at 3700′ via Facebook:

Here’s a quick news clip about the accident from KTUU.com:

This is the 1st fatality in Alaska this season. We will try to update this post when more information is available.

UPDATE 11/24:

  • Alaska State Troopers identified the avalanche victim as Randall Bergt, 60, of Anchorage, Alaska (KTUU.com).
  • AlaskaSnow.org issued a preliminary avalanche accident report. The note that the experienced backcountry skier was caught, buried, and killed in a skier triggered, R3, D2 hard slab avalanche on a south-southwest aspect at 3600′ on a 34 degree slope. The avalcnhe measured 150′ x 800′ with a crown of 6″ to 2′. The victim was buried 4 feet deep in a terrain trap at the bottom of Gully#1 on President’s Ridge on Marmot Mountain at Hatcher Pass.
  • Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center posted the following on Facebook:

Update 11/25:

  • Jed Workman visited the site of the avalanche and post the following video about instability tests at the accident site:

See Also: Global Avalanche Accidents 2017/2018

Read more about the 2017 avalanche on Hatcher Pass in Alaska from the following sources: