Avalanche victim found

Posted: Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Searchers recovered the body of an Anchorage man who was buried in a Feb. 13 avalanche in the Kenai Mountains on Monday afternoon.

Efforts to find Alan Gage, 40, have been hampered for much of the past week and a half by stormy weather and unsafe avalanche conditions that prevented rescuers from reaching the remote scene.

Gage, as well as ConocoPhillips Alaska President, Jim Bowles, 57, of Anchorage, were swept up in a slide while snowmachining between miles 46 and 49 of the Alaska Railroad, in the Grandview area, north of Moose Pass.

Bowles, who was killed in the disaster, was found that day.

Gage worked for Conoco as well in capital projects.

On Monday company spokesperson Natalie Lowman said: "Our deepest sympathies go out to the family of Alan Gage. At ConocoPhillips we remain deeply saddened at the loss of a deeply respected coworker."

According to the State Troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen, 30 to 58 people took part in the search for Gage, which resumed Saturday. Up to 100 people and 20 organizations volunteered to help.

The Department of Transportation used explosives in the area around the scene to mitigate avalanche concerns and searchers were shuttled into the area via helicopter.

An area described as a little larger than a football field was combed using search and rescue dogs, radar, metal detectors and hand-held probes for nearly two and a half days before Gage's body was found.

Dante Petri can be reached at dante.petri@peninsulaclarion.com

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