GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Wrapped in blankets and tucked into rescue sleds, two backcountry skiers with broken legs were towed out of a remote spot in the Wallowa Mountains of northeastern Oregon where an avalanche killed two of their companions.
Baker County Undersheriff Warren Thompson said rescuers labored through the day Wednesday with ropes and other gear to get the man and woman from Washington state off a steep slope where they spent a cold and snowy night.
The sleds were hitched to a snowcat and a snowmobile headed to the community of Halfway, more than 10 miles away, Thompson said. A National Guard helicopter was to meet them at the high school and fly them to Baker City. There, rescuers were to decide whether to treat them at the local hospital or fly them to a trauma center in Boise.
The injured were in a party of six skiers and two guides on the third day of a five-day trip through the backcountry of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest when they were hit by an avalanche at about noon Tuesday, authorities said.