Backcountry Skiers Recovering From Utah Avalanche Injuries

Two backcountry skiers remained hospitalized Sunday recovering from injuries suffered in an avalanche near the Pfeifferhorn, an 11,326-foot peak in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Brian Dutton was listed in serious condition Sunday, LDS hospital spokesman Jess Gomez said. Joe Bullough's condition remained critical, Gomez said. He was unconscious when rescuers took him off the mountain Saturday, Salt Lake County sheriff's officials said.

The men, who are both 42 and from Salt Lake City, were near the 11,000 foot mark when they triggered the slide Saturday morning, sheriff's Lt. Paul Jaroscak said. Dutton used a cell phone to call for help about 10:15 a.m.

The slide was estimated at 90 feet wide and 210 feet long, Jarosack said.

About 50 search and rescue volunteers from Salt Lake, Utah and Wasatach counties and three helicopters were used in the rescue. Their efforts were hampered by Pfeifferhorn's remote location, altitude and wind guts between 40 and 80 mph.

To reach the two men, a helicopter dropped six rescuers on the north side of the summit near Red Pine Lake, leaving them a one-plus mile hike up 1,000 vertical feet. The men were finally removed from the mountain about 4:30 p.m.

Police said Dutton and Bullough began their ascent of Pfeifferhorn at 5 a.m. Saturday.