Four men, all in their mid-20s, were rescued Sunday evening after getting caught in an avalanche while skiing on Sunday, officials say. Two of the men had injuries that required medical attention — one with a knee injury, the other with a possible broken leg, Utah County Sgt. Spencer Cannon said.
No one was buried in the avalanche, which Cannon said happened in the area of Pfeifferhorn Peak above Alpine and Little Cottonwood Canyon, on the south side.
Rescue efforts were initially hampered by strong winds and extreme avalanche warning, prompting rescuers to form a contingency plan around sending the skiers an overnight care package. Supplies had already been sent once before.
But the weather improved, allowing the two more seriously injured men to be taken away for treatment. The other two men suffered minor injuries and were shuttled out of the area.
“Everybody’s off the mountain and we’re all happy about that because we weren’t sure we were going to be able to make that happen [Sunday],” Cannon said.
Cannon said that two of the victims had been rescued from the mountain, including one who had been taken by Lone Peak Ambulance to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray. Cannon said the other skier was off the mountain, but couldn’t confirm if he had been taken to the hospital. Cannon said a helicopter returned to Provo to refuel, but that the hope was that it would encounter favorable conditions upon returning and would attempt to hoist the other skiers and rescue team members.
Current avalanche danger along the Wasatch Front ranges from low in Ogden and Logan, to moderate in Salt Lake City and Provo, according to the Utah Avalanche Center.
Both victims are off the mountain. One taken by ambulance to @IntermtnMedCtr and the other going by private vehicle. Other two skiers sustained minor injuries. @UtahDPS Tactical Flight Officer and @UACwasatch expert also now off the mountain. pic.twitter.com/8NJ6Ci2GOR
— Utah County Sheriff (@UCSO) March 15, 2021