3 dead after Bear Mountain avalanche, troopers say

Published: Feb. 3, 2021 at 11:01 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Three hikers are dead after they were buried by an avalanche near Bear Mountain, according to Alaska State Troopers.

The three hikers, now identified as 54-year-old Thomas Devine of Chugiak, 43-year-old Matthew Nyman of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and 50-year-old Edward Watson of Miami, Florida, set off Tuesday morning at around 10:30 a.m on a hike. They were expected to return that same day at around 5 p.m., and when they did not, they were reported overdue to the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center.

On Wednesday, AST and the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group began a ground search of the area, where they found what appeared to be a recent avalanche. The bodies of the three hikers were found in the slide area. Troopers say the three did not have personal locator or avalanche beacons.

Troopers are asking hikers to avoid Bear Mountain, citing the potential for additional avalanche activity. A representative with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center confirmed that these are the first avalanche fatalities in Alaska this winter.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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