Avalanche near Cooper Landing leaves 1 dead

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include that Bryant Evans was also buried in the avalanche but was able to be rescued sooner and is alive and to clarify that the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center provides avalanche information on the Kenai Peninsula.

A man has died after being covered by an avalanche Saturday near Cooper Landing.

The Alaska State Troopers responded to a call for help just after 3 p.m. Saturday about two miles from the trailhead on Snug Harbor Road in Cooper Landing. Bryant Evans, 29, of Soldotna, was snowmachining with his friend, Tyler Kloos, 29, also of Soldotna, when he saw Kloos go down in an avalanche, troopers wrote in an online dispatch.

Evans himself was caught in the avalanche, but not as deeply and was able to be rescued sooner, said his mother Tammy Evans in an email. 

They were both wearing avalanche beacons, so Evans was able to find Kloos and dig him out, according to the dispatch.

“Other people in the area assisted,” troopers wrote. “CPR was started.”

Kloos was taken to Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna via a LifeMed helicopter, but later died, according to the dispatch.

The Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center did not have a forecast for the immediate area around Cooper Landing where Kloos was caught in the avalanche, but did issue an advisory on Sunday for the Turnagain Pass area, Placer Valley and Johnson Pass, slightly north of Cooper Landing. On Saturday, the center issued an advisory for the Summit Lake area, also slightly north of the Cooper Landing area.

Both areas received large amounts of snow in the last week and people could trigger slab avalanches between two and four feet in depth in areas that have seen little traffic, according to the advisories. Lower down, below 1,000 feet, the danger is lower where the wet snow has frozen into a hard crust, according to the Sunday advisory.

This story will be updated as details become available.

Reach Elizabeth Earl at elizabeth.earl@peninsulaclarion.com.

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