SALT LAKE CITY – Two backcountry skiers who were caught in an avalanche were rescued after being stranded on an 11,000-foot peak Saturday.
The men were not buried in the snow slide, but they were injured and the altitude and strong winds kept rescuers from reaching them for hours, said Lt. Paul Jaroscak of the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Department.
One of the men called for help around 10:15 a.m. They were finally taken from the mountain in Little Cottonwood Canyon around 4:30 p.m.
Jaroscak said wind gusts at the site ranged from 40-80 mph. A helicopter got rescuers as high up as they could go and they hiked the rest of the way to the two men, who were both 42 and from the Salt Lake City area.
"It was long enough away that it was a struggle," Jaroscak said. "It wasn't just a matter of walking 50 feet."
Both were taken to LDS Hospital, one in serious condition and the other critical with chest injuries and broken bones, Jaroscak said.