Snowmachiner dies in apparent avalanche in Hatcher Pass

ANCHORAGE — Troopers and search and rescue crews have recovered the body of a 35-year-old man believed to have died in an avalanche in Hatcher Pass.

Trygve Erickson said his son, Dashiell Erickson, had been riding a snowmachine with two of his friends Saturday when the avalanche hit around 2:30 p.m., The Alaska Dispatch News reported. Emergency personnel recovered the body Sunday afternoon.

The Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center had reported around noon on Saturday that the area was under considerable avalanche hazard for wind-slab avalanches at elevations above 3,500 feet.

The victim’s father said the three men had been carrying avalanche beacons and probes, allowing Dashiell Erickson’s friends to spot him buried underneath the snow. They unsuccessfully tried to revive him before leaving his body overnight in the stormy weather conditions.

“Both of them stayed out until after dark, performed CPR for an hour, and were back out before the crack of dawn this morning for the recovery effort,” Trygve Erickson said. “They responded just the way you hope your friends would respond.”

Trygve Erickson said all three were experienced snowmachine riders and that the oncoming snow apparently hit his son from behind.

“The avalanche struck Dash with force (and) speed, even though it was a very small avalanche,” Erickson said. “He was probably killed on impact.”

Dashiell Erickson’s death comes after troopers called off the search for 31-year-old Wasilla skier Liam Walsh, who is also believed to have died in an avalanche in Hatcher Pass. Walsh hit the slopes of Hatcher Pass on Nov. 22 and has not been heard from since.

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