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Two cross-country skiers were killed about noon today (Feb. 11th) in an avalanche near Little Eagle Meadows, in the southern Wallowa Mountains near Cornucopia.

The area is about 10 miles northwest of Halfway.

Baker County Sheriff Mitch 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 are en route to the scene as well, per Sheriff Southwick.

A total of eight people were skiing together when the avalanche hit. In addition to the two who were killed, two were seriously injured and four were not hurt.

The two people injured apparently suffered broken bones, Southwick said.

He said the skiers apparently were clients of a Joseph company, Wallowa Alpine Huts, Ski Outfitters that conducts wilderness ski tours. Southwick said one survivor apparently used a cell phone to report the avalanche.

The skiers, who were from the Seattle area, were on a guided multi-day trip, according to Connelly Brown, the owner of Wallowa Alpine Huts Ski Outfitters.

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

Wallowa Alpine Huts offers ski tours in the Southern Wallowas that include overnight accommodations in a yurt as well as the historic Schneider Cabin.

The Oregon National Guard has dispatched a helicopter, as well as Idaho Nation Guard.

The Associated Press is reporting that weather is hampering the current rescue from yesterday's Avalanche in Baker County.


Here is the news release from the Baker County Sheriff's office:




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