Woman Killed In Avalanche Near Summit Lake In Alaska’s Hoodoo Mountains
Paxson, Alaska – On Sunday, April 3, 2016 a female snowmobiler was killed in an avalanche in the Summit Lake area of the Hoodoo Mountains in the Eastern Alaska Range near Paxson, Alaska. The victim was identified as 25-year-old Clair Sundgren from North Pole, Alaska.
Witnesses report that Sundgren was parked at the bottom of a slope when another snowmobile went up the slope and triggered the avalanche. According to AlaskaPublic.org, the avalanche was triggered by Sundgren’s husband. Avalanche.org writes that 2 snowmobilers were caught in the slide. One was fully buried and one was partially buried. Bystanders were able to extricate Sundgren, but resuscitation attempts were unsuccessful.
Authorities were notified at approximately 3 PM. Alaska State Troopers, the Fort Greely Fire Department, and Delta medical retrieved the body.
On April 5, 2016 the Alaska Avalanche Information Center posted that the avalanche was a hard slab that was triggered by a snowmobile on a SW aspect on a slope over 30 degrees. The avalanche was a size 3 and it caught the snowmachiner and his partner. The partner was buried 6-feet deep for 25-30 minutes and did not survive.
Read the report and see photos of the accident site at AlaskaSnow.org.
The avalanche occurred near the site of the Arctic Man Snowmobile event – a skier/snowmobile race that “tests the strength of an athlete and the horsepower of a snowmobile.” The Arctic Man is scheduled to take place from April 4 to 10, 2016.
According to Avalanche.org, this is the 27th avalanche fatality in the United States this season. It is the 5th avalanche fatality in Alaska during the 2015/2016 season.
We will try to update this post as more information becomes available.