Moose Rescued From Avalanche

Three snowmachiners likely saved a moose’s life by digging it out after it was buried up to its snout by an avalanche in Alaska.

The trio, Rob Uphus, Avery Vucinich and Marty Mobley, dug the young cow moose out of the snow apparently unharmed by the avalanche that they suspect it triggered on itself.


Rob Uphus and Marty Mobley along with Avery Vucinich (not pictured), dug a moose out of Hatcher Pass on Dec. 28; photo by Avery Vucinich

They said the animal probably wouldn’t have survived if they had not intervened.

“There was just enough of its snout sticking above the snow that it could breathe,” Mobley told the Alaska Dispatch News.

The men were exploring the Willow side of Hatcher Pass, about 55 miles northeast of Anchorage, by snowmachine. Aware of high avalanche danger and having seen ski tracks in the area, the men investigated closely after noticing the hillside had recently slid.

Once finding the moose, they got to work digging it free, which took about 10 minutes, the men told the paper.

“It didn’t even fight us,” Mobley said. “It was like, ‘Help me. Help me.’ It was totally docile and let us touch it. It just (lay) there,” Mobley said.

Once free, the animal ran “at full steam” down the mountain, apparently uninjured.

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Editor-in-Chief Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in GearJunkie's Denver office, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.
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