Three killed in avalanche near Bear Mountain in Chugiak

The view from the Bear Mountain area in May 2020. (Abbey Collins/Alaska Public Media)

Alaska State Troopers are warning of avalanche danger around Bear Mountain in Chugiak after three people were reportedly killed in a slide there this week.

According to Alaska State Troopers, 54-year-old Thomas Devine of Chugiak, 43-year-old Matthew Nyman of Colorado, and 50-year-old Edward Watson of Florida were expected to return from a hike in the area Tuesday evening.

When they didn’t return, the agency launched a search Wednesday with Alaska Mountain Rescue Group. Troopers say the bodies of the three hikers were discovered buried in what appeared to be a recent avalanche. It’s unclear where the avalanche occurred.

Bear Mountain is a popular destination in Chugach State Park, near Mirror Lake in the Peter’s Creek, but there are several different routes to the top. Troopers are asking hikers to avoid the area until avalanche conditions improve.

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