LOCAL NEWS

Four Skiers Rescued After Triggering Avalanche Near Pfeifferhorn Peak

Mar 14, 2021, 12:10 PM | Updated: Mar 15, 2021, 5:14 am

ALPINE, Utah — Crews on Sunday responded after four skiers were involved in an avalanche on the ridge line of Alpine and Little Cottonwood Canyon.

The incident happened near Pfeifferhorn Peak shortly before 11:30 a.m.

It took rescue crews about seven hours total to reach the skiers who were partially buried by the avalanche.

Utah County Search and Rescue and Salt Lake County Search and Rescue responded to the area, while the Department of Public Safety and Life Flight assisted with aerial operations.

Avalanche danger was just too high to go in by ground and high winds made an air rescue tricky, but after a long day, all four skiers made it safely down the mountain.

The four men caught in the slide were in their mid-20s. Authorities said all of them were experienced backcountry skiers.

“They said there wasn’t very much — maybe 20 or 30 feet above them that came down — but it was enough to catch them up and send them over some edges and fortunately, they didn’t get buried,” said Cannon.

No one was buried, but two of the men were hurt — one with a broken leg, the other with a broken ankle.

It would’ve taken them more than eight hours to hike back out, and there’s no way that was happening.

“Several things became a problem there,” said Cannon. “There was still avalanche risk in the area where they ended up.”

Rescuers decided that going in by helicopter was the best option. They attempted multiple times, but high winds wouldn’t allow them to get close enough. Eventually, they caught a break.

“What looked like it could turn into a long, protracted operation, maybe even going into the morning hours, we had some good fortune here in getting a break in the weather. The winds slowed down, the clouds lifted and they were able to get down there,” said Cannon.

One by one, rescuers brought all four skiers to safety, where their loved ones were waiting for them.

“They’re very fortunate to get out as relatively unscathed as they did,” said Cannon.

The White Pine Trailhead in Little Cottonwood Canyon was temporarily closed during the search and rescue mission.

So far in 2021, there have been four fatal avalanches in Utah and one in Southeast Idaho. A total of eight people have been killed.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

(Derek Petersen/KSL TV)...
Casey Scott, KSL TV

Relieving some stress with Casey Scott at Smash-it Rage Rooms in Ogden

If you're looking to let out some rage in a safe and fun way, Casey Scott has the place.
16 hours ago
FILE PHOTO (KSL TV)...
Josh Ellis

Police investigating after reported sexual assault at U of U fraternity

University of Utah Police say they were notified of a reported sexual assault that occurred at the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house.
16 hours ago
Non-profit workers preparing lunches for students....
Tamara Vaifanua

Local nonprofit provides lunches for Salt Lake County students

"We’re packing constantly," local nonprofit USANA Kids Eat is trying to fill the growing need for feeding students.
16 hours ago
(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Glossy ibis fly over the Bear River Migratory Bird Ref...
Aimee Van Tatenhove, Utah Public Radio

Increasing Great Salt Lake salinity predicted to impact Utah brine shrimp

New research suggests that as Great Salt Lake shrinks and gets saltier, brine shrimp, a staple food for migrating birds and a boon to Utah’s economy, may be in danger of dramatic population declines.
16 hours ago
Follow @https://twitter.com/jellis9...
Josh Ellis

Severe thunderstorm, flash flood warnings issued for southern Utah

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for Kane County along U.S. Highway 89 Monday morning, while a flash flood warning was in effect for Zion National Park to Rockville.
16 hours ago
A closed gate from Utah wilderness officials to prevent people from accessing the trail....
Lauren Steinbrecher

Forest Service hoping to reopen popular Big Cottonwood Canyon area closed over permit issue

The Forest Service is trying to work through a permit issue with private landowners right next to one of the most popular hiking trails along the Wasatch Front.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Four Skiers Rescued After Triggering Avalanche Near Pfeifferhorn Peak