Two snowmobilers killed in Alaska avalanche
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) ” Alaska authorities have released the names of two snowmobilers killed by an avalanche.
Anchorage residents Christoph Vonalvensleben, 25, and Jeremy Stark, 27, were caught in a snow slide Friday while riding snowmobiles in the backcountry about 70 miles outside Anchorage. The two were buried in the snow for about 45 minutes before they were located, Alaska State Troopers said.
Troopers initially reported three people had died but one of them ” Andrew Baugh, 38, of Girdwood ” was recovered. He was evaluated by emergency medics and released, said troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen.
Three other snowmobilers in the party were accounted for. All were unharmed, Ipsen said.
The avalanche was triggered when a member of the group rode down off the edge of a ridge, troopers said.
Winds and blowing snow Saturday prevented helicopter crews from immediately recovering the bodies from the remote location, according to Ipsen.
“The visibility for landing a helicopter out there is zilch,” she said.
The Avalanche Information Center had warned of a high avalanche danger in the region this weekend because of new snow that has left the snowpack nearly eight feet deep.
There have been at least 32 avalanche deaths in the Western U.S. since Dec. 2. Friday’s deaths were the first this year in Alaska.
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