A backcountry skier was killed Tuesday when an avalanche buried him under at least 4 feet of snow at Raggedtop Mountain near Girdwood, about 35 miles south of Anchorage.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A backcountry skier was killed Tuesday when an avalanche buried him under at least 4 feet of snow at Raggedtop Mountain near Girdwood, about 35 miles south of Anchorage.
Joel Schihl, 30, of Anchorage, had been skiing with another man when the two were caught in the 100-foot-wide avalanche that fell about 2,000 feet, Alaska State Troopers said.
Members of the adjacent Alyeska Resort ski patrol saw the avalanche through binoculars shortly after 1:30 p.m. and called troopers.
Bradley Cosgrove, 28, Schihl’s companion, managed to free himself. He found Schihl’s body soon after rescuers arrived in a helicopter.
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Raggedtop Mountain is a common destination for backcountry skiers. Chris Owens, owner of Chugach Powder Guides, a local heli-skiing company that assisted in the rescue attempt, said the mountain is steep but is not considered particularly treacherous. He said Schihl was known as a regular backcountry skier.