One Dies in Rainbow Mount Avalanche

avalanche dengerA Delta Junction man perished in an avalanche on Saturday afternoon in the Rainbow Mounts near milepost 205 of the Richardson Highway according to the trooper dispatch.

Alaska State Troopers received a report of a fatality in an avalanche by 63-year-old Michael Hopper at 6:21 pm on Saturday. Hopper reported that he and 35-year-old Eric Peterson were skiing the area when they heard a “whoomp” approximately 20 feet above them and found themselves caught in an avalanche.

Both were buried in the chilling avalanche. Hopper reported that he was trapped in snow for 2-3 hours before successfully unburying himself. After he did so, Hopper searched for his skiing partner after finding a glove in the snow. Hopper reported digging down through the snow to find Peterson deceased.

Hopper made his way to the highway where he was able to flag down the second of two vehicles and borrow a cell phone to report the incident.

Troopers, the Fort Greely Fire Department. the Rural Delta Fire and Rescue as well as Black Rapids military personnel responded to the scene, but deteriorating weather conditions and instability of the snow hampered recovery efforts.

The Alaska State Troopers reported that they were “evaluating weather and avalanche conditions prior to putting resources out to conduct a potential body recovery.”

There have not been any further updates put out by the troopers as of Sunday night.