2 skiers from Seattle area killed, 2 injured in avalanche in Oregon

BAKER CITY, Ore. -- Two backcountry skiers from the Seattle area were killed and two others were seriously injured in an avalanche Tuesday in the mountains of eastern Oregon, the Baker County Sheriff's Office said.

A total of eight people were skiing together when the avalanche hit near Little Eagle Meadows in the southern Wallowa Mountains near Cornucopia, Baker County Sheriff Mitch Southwick said.

In addition to the two who were killed, two were seriously injured and four were uninjured, he said.  The two people injured apparently suffered broken bones, Southwick said.

The skiers, who were from the Seattle area. were on a guided multiday trip, according to Connelly Brown, the owner of Wallowa Alpine Huts Ski Outfitters, which conducts wilderness ski tours.

Brown said there was an unconfirmed report that a woman suffered two broken legs, and a man had one broken leg.

Southwick said a Life Flight helicopter has been dispatched to rescue survivors, but the helicopter can't get any closer than about a half-mile away from the scene. Members of the Panhandle Snowmobile Club were en route to the scene as well.

The skiers were not immediately identified.