Body of snowboarder caught in avalanche recovered

Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad teams concluded their recovery efforts Thursday for a Ketchikan man caught Sunday in an avalanche on Dude Mountain.

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The body of Marvin Scott, 39, has been recovered, Alaska State Trooper James Kimura confirmed Thursday evening.

Team members took advantage of a break in the weather to get back on the mountain, Jerry Kiffer, rescue squad principal officer, said.

They were helicoptered to a spot above the avalanche debris field, and started digging test holes to determine the snowpack’s stability.

“The results from those pits were OK enough for us to proceed downhill toward the avalanche site,” Kiffer said.

On Thursday evening, Kiffer said the teams finished their work, hiked down the trail and were headed down Brown Mountain Road via snowmachine.

Kiffer added that the rescue squad appreciates the community’s support in this, and other search efforts.

“The situation obviously is a tragedy,” Kiffer said. “A lot of our (team members) were friends and acquaintances with the victim. It hits everybody really hard. As our people are out working in the field to get the job done, we really appreciate the community’s support with the operation.”

Scott was snowboarding about noon Sunday on Dude Mountain with a friend when the avalanche was triggered.

Scott was buried in the snow. The friend tried to dig Scott out, using Scott’s avalanche beacon as a guide, but wasn’t able to find him.

Without cell phone coverage, the friend had to hike out before he could call for help.

It was too late Sunday to launch a recovery effort.

Teams tried Monday, but bad weather forced them back down the mountain and kept them off until Thursday.

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