One dead, two injured in Haines skiing incident

One person is dead and two are injured after a backcountry skiing accident near Haines on Sunday.

Alaska State Trooper spokesperson Megan Peters said troopers received a call from Haines Police on Sunday afternoon about an accident in the backcountry, although she didn’t know the exact location.

The Haines trooper is out of town on a patrol and wasn’t able to respond immediately. A trooper will arrive in Haines from Juneau on Monday to conduct an investigation, Peters said. Haines Police had no comment and referred questions to the troopers.

The deceased was identified by troopers as Christian Cabainilla. He is listed as a guide for the local heliskiing company, Southeast Alaska Backcountry Adventures, on its website. The company did not respond to messages on Sunday evening.

Cabainilla’s biography on the company’s website says he is an international backcountry snowboard guide working in Alaska, Chilean Patagonia and Antarctica with more than a decade of experience in the Alaska heli-ski industry. It says he is also a commercial helicopter pilot in Alaska.

Trooper spokeswoman Peters said she did not have any information on what caused the death and injuries or whether an avalanche had occurred. She said the two injured skiers had non-life-threatening injuries. Two medevac planes were seen arriving and leaving Haines on Sunday afternoon.

Peter’s said by the time the troopers received the call, everyone involved was already out of the field and in Haines receiving medical treatment.

This is Haines third heliskiing fatality in two years. Last year a guide and skier were killed in a March avalanche while skiing with a different company.


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