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Avalanche, Party Separated—No Rescue Attempt, Alaska, Flattop Mountain

AVALANCHE, PARTY SEPARATED—NO RESCUE ATTEMPT

Alaska, Flattop Mountain

In October of 1992, four Anchorage climbers were ascending a gully on Flattop Mountain just outside of Anchorage when they were struck by an avalanche. Two were buried, one popped out, and one escaped being hit. The latter two descended.

When rescuers returned a few hours later, they found one victim quickly. He was wearing a beacon. The other was located after finding his ski pole just barely sticking out of the snow. Both victims had succumbed.

Analysis

It is not known why the two survivors made no attempt to locate the two victims. It is known that one of them, Dave Hart, was on Mount McKinley in the spring, and while descending from the summit, separated from his partner who was not doing well. Hart descended on his own, while his partner required rescue, which was accomplished by a guided party nearby. (Source: Alaskan climbers)