CAIC: Colorado Avalanche Information Center

2018/02/25 - Alaska - Dude Mountain, north of Ketchikan

Published 2018/03/06 by Mike Janes - Alaska Electric Light and Power Company

Avalanche Details

  • Location: Dude Mountain, north of Ketchikan
  • State: Alaska
  • Date: 2018/02/25
  • Time: 12:15 PM (Estimated)
  • Summary Description: 1 backcountry tourers caught, 1 buried and killed
  • Primary Activity: Backcountry Tourer
  • Primary Travel Mode: Snowboard


  • Caught: 1
  • Fully Buried: 1
  • Injured: 0
  • Killed: 1


  • Type: --
  • Trigger: --
  • Trigger (subcode): --
  • Size - Relative to Path: --
  • Size - Destructive Force: --
  • Sliding Surface: --


  • Slope Aspect: --
  • Site Elevation: --
  • Slope Angle: --
  • Slope Characteristic: --

Accident Summary

PRELIMINARY: Two backcountry tourers on snowboards were caught in an avalanche at approximately 12:15 PM. One of the snowboarders was fully buried and the other was caught but able to escape the slide. The rider that escaped was able to conduct a beacon search and got a signal to within 1.3 meters. After digging for 1-1.5 hrs the partner was unable to locate the buried individual and ascended the slope to call for help. It was too late in the day to dispatch rescue teams, however Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad sent a team the following morning to check conditions and attempt to find the burial location. Due to 50+ mph winds and heavy snowfall, the search was suspended. Poor weather continued Tuesday and Wednesday, preventing the search from continuing. On Thursday March 1st, a joint team comprised of Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad, Juneau Mountain Rescue, and SEADOGS was able to locate the buried subject with a Long Range Receiver via helicopter. Following the Long Range Receiver search, snowpack and terrain were assessed for safety of the rescue crew and the buried subject was extricated via helicopter at 4:15 PM.

Anchorage Daily News article