2 skiers injured in avalanche flown out of backcountry

BAKER CITY, Ore. -- Two skiers from the Seattle area who were injured in an avalanche that killed two other members of their party were rescued and flown out of the backcountry Wednesday night, the Baker County Sheriff's Office said.

They were flown by helicopter to the Baker City Airport, where they were to be flown to a trauma hospital. A sheriff's spokesman said it was unknown when they would be able to recover the bodies of the two dead skiers because of poor weather conditions in the Wallowa Mountains of northeastern Oregon.

A group of Seattle-area skiers was in the area on a five-day guided tour when the avalanche struck near Little Eagle Meadows in the southern Wallowas near Cornucopia on Monday, injuring a man and a woman and killing two other skiers.

Search and rescue crews were able to make it to the slide area and three members of the party who were uninjured were taken to safety by snowcat.

An uninjured guide stayed with the injured skiers overnight.

National Guard helicopters from Idaho and Oregon had been assisting in the rescue efforts.  But 8 inches of new snow overnight and changing weather conditions forced officials to put those plans on hold for now.

The names of the skiers have not been released.