A Denali National Park and Preserve staff member was killed in an avalanche he triggered while skiing in the Alaskan wilderness that is home to the country’s highest peak, authorities said Friday.

Eric Walter was found dead Thursday after rescuers rushed to the general area of ​​his last location, according to the National Park Service.

Eric Walter, a Denali National Park and Preserve employee, in an undated photo.Denali National Park and Preserve/NPS Photo via AP

Park rangers found his vehicle parked on the main road in Denali, he said. They then saw signs of Walter’s equipment in the middle of a field of avalanche debris.

«Two skis, one upright, one lying on the surface, as well as an orange bag were observed in a debris field in the avalanche area,» the park service said.

Mountain rangers brought life support equipment used to rescue avalanche survivors, the park service said. A helicopter from the park was overhead.

The park service said he was skiing alone on the unnamed north-facing slope south of Jenny Creek when he triggered an avalanche.

A witness reported the avalanche to employees at the nearby park kennel and a search and rescue operation was launched, the park service said.

Snow depth at adjacent Denali State Park was about 3 to 4 feet Monday, Alaska parks officials said. «With the recent warmer weather, use caution when traveling in avalanche terrain,» the state Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation said in the condition report.

Part of Walter’s job was to guide others in the 6.1 million-acre federal park, help keep its communications running and help keep visitors and workers safe, the National Park Service park.

The park’s main attraction is its namesake mountain, which rises to 20,310 feet.

«Eric was a well-liked member of the Alaska Regional Communications Center (Denali Dispatch) and was known throughout the Alaska Region for providing dispatch services and radio security support for National Park Service operations in Alaska,» the park service said.

Todd Miyazawa contributed.