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On February 2nd, 2021 at approximately 2223 hours, Alaska State Troopers were advised of three overdue hikers near Bear Mountain in Chugiak. 54-year-old Thomas Devine of Chugiak, 43-year-old Matthew Nyman of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and 50-year-old Edward Watson, of Miami, Florida stated they were going hiking on February 2nd and were expected to return to the parking area by 1700 hrs on 2/2/21. The last known contact with the group was at approximately 1030 hrs on 2/2/21 prior to the group leaving for the hike. The group did not return to the parking area and were reported overdue to the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center.
On the morning of February 3rd, 2021 the Alaska State Troopers and the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group launched a ground search of the area. During the search what appeared to be a recent avalanche was discovered. In the avalanche slide area, the bodies of the three hikers were discovered buried in the snow. The group did not have PLB’s or avalanche beacons. The Alaska Mountain Rescue Group assisted with recovering the hikers from the slide area. Next of kin have been notified.
There is a potential for additional avalanche activity in the area of Bear Mountain and Alaska State Troopers are asking hikers to avoid the area until conditions improve.
*This dispatch has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of Thomas Devine.
Posted on 2/3/2021 7:30:13 PM by DPS\ajmcdaniel