Lifestyle & Belief

Alaska: 2 back-country skiers rescued by Air National Guard after avalanche


An airplane prepares to land against a backdrop of frozen mountains April 1, 2004 in Valdez, Alaska.

Alaska’s National Guard today said it had rescued two stranded skiers who had been hit by an avalanche, according to Reuters.

The pair had been among a trio who were skiing off of prepared trails in the Chugach Mountains south of Anchorage, the news agency said.

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Ian Lacroix, a 20-year-old New Yorker had was buried at first but clambered to the surface with a broken leg. His brother Nathan, 28, an Alaska resident, stayed with him with the third skier, Connor Maloney, 23, went for help, according to Reuters.

The Alaska Air National Guard sent a rescue crew by helicopter, the news agency said.

“Without the joint efforts of the Alaska State Troopers and the Alaska Air National Guard the state of the two brothers could have been something more life threatening," Master Sergeant Kenneth Bellamy of the 11th Air Force Rescue Coordination Center was quoted as saying in a statement.

Helicopter skiing guide Robert Libertman, 35, of Telluride, Colorado, and client Nick Dodov, 26, of Truckee, California, were killed Tuesday in a sizeable avalanche near Haines in south Alaska, according to Reuters.

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The Associated Press reported Saturday that the nearby city of Anchorage is closing in on breaking a 60-year snowfall record of 132,6 inches.

Anchorage is so far short of the record by only 3.3 inches, according to Reuters.