RIGHT NOW: Rescuers Try To Reach Hurt Skiers After Avalanche - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

RIGHT NOW: Rescuers Try To Reach Hurt Skiers After Avalanche

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) - Rescuers are hoping for a break in the weather to evacuate two injured backcountry skiers who survived an avalanche that killed two others in northeastern Oregon's Wallowa Mountains.
   
Baker County Undersheriff Warren Thompson said Wednesday morning that two National Guard helicopters were flying to the site.
   
He says there's no word on whether there's enough visibility for the helicopters to pick up the two injured skiers, who were bundled in rescue sleds after a cold and snowy night on the mountain.
   
Four unhurt skiers were taken out by a snow cat, which couldn't reach the injured skiers on the steep slope.
   
Most of the skiers were from the Seattle area. They were on a guided five-day trip with an outfitter from Joseph.
   
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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A sheriff's officer says low clouds and poor visibility have grounded a rescue effort for two backcountry skiers seriously injured in an avalanche that killed two other skiers in eastern Oregon's Wallowa Mountains.
    
Baker County Undersheriff Warren Thompson says two National Guard helicopters hope to renew rescue efforts at first light Wednesday.
    
Thompson says four unhurt skiers from the group of eight are being brought out by snowcat - a large, tracked vehicle that can maneuver on snow. They were expected to spend the night at the small town of Halfway, Ore.
    
Sheriff Mitch Southwick says the avalanche hit about noon Tuesday as the group skied in a remote area.
    
Most of the skiers are from the Seattle area. Officials aren't releasing names until relatives can be notified.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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