A 29-year-old man was injured in an avalanche while snowboarding with Alaska Heliskiing in Haines on Thursday morning. Alaska State Troopers say his injuries appear to be non-life-threatening.
Alaska Heliskiing owner Ryan Johnson says Utah resident Bode Merrill was being dropped off by helicopter around 9:15 a.m. Thursday on the Tahkin ridge when the avalanche occurred.
“We were landing on top of a ridge line and Bode was getting out of the helicopter and ridge line had a crack and failure and it sent him sliding about six or 800 feet down the mountain.”
Johnson says Merrill was buried under about nine feet of snow. He says Alaska Heliskiing personnel were able uncover and administer first aid to Merrill within five minutes of when he fell. They brought him to the Haines clinic and he was then medevac’d to Juneau’s Bartlett Regional Hospital.
Johnson says his injuries appeared to be minor.
“He doesn’t have any physical ailments, he maybe inhaled some snow. And as far as I know, he’s just being watched overnight in Juneau for a possible, like a lung contusion.”
Hospital spokesperson Jim Strader said Thursday afternoon that Merrill was in ‘stable condition.’
Alaska State Troopers say a 29-year-old man was injured in an avalanche while snowboarding in Haines on Thursday morning. Trooper spokesperson Megan Peters says the injuries appear to be non-life-threatening.
According to a Trooper dispatch, Utah resident Bode Merrill was snowboarding with a local guiding company. The company was dropping him off by helicopter at about 10 a.m. When Merrill stepped out of the helicopter and onto a cornice, it broke off, sending him falling 600 feet. He was buried under about three feet of snow.
Personnel from the guiding company recovered Merrill after a ‘brief’ search. He was taken to the Haines clinic and then medevac’d to Juneau. Bartlett Regional Hospital spokesman Jim Strader confirmed that Merrill was brought there Thursday and is in ‘stable condition’
Peters says the company that reported the incident was Alaska Heliskiing.
KHNS will update this story with more information as we receive it.