THE BLOG
12/09/2014 09:22 am ET Updated Feb 08, 2015

Experienced Skier Recalls Alaska Range Avalanche That killed his friend

FAIRBANKS -- Mike Hopper and his friend Erik Peterson had made the journey before, skiing up a valley about 2.5 miles east of the Richardson Highway in the Alaska Range.

Hopper, 63, and Peterson, 35, both experienced backcountry travelers, ran into trouble Saturday, the first time this winter they had been out in the mountains 60 miles south of Delta Junction.

Looking back on it now, Hopper said Monday with a sigh, the two men -- who had both taken avalanche training courses -- missed a key warning sign about the avalanche danger.

Had they fully realized the hazardous nature of the slopes that day, Peterson might still be alive.

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