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Two Avalanches Hit Utah's Backcountry

Two Avalanches Hit Utah's Backcountry



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- It was a close call for six people in Utah's backcountry today.

They surived two separate avalanches in the Wasatch Mountains southeast of Salt Lake City.

Two Avalanches Hit Utah's Backcountry

Three cross-country skiers were hit by one slide in Big Cottonwood Canyon just before 4:00 this afternoon. They were able to dig out of the snow and one man was able to ski far enough back to call for help on a cell phone.

The Salt Lake County Sheriff's Department says the caller had head and neck injuries and the other two had knee and chest injuries. But all three were brought safely down the canyon.

The second avalanche hit on Mount Olympus, where three men were on the first leg of a two-day hike to the 9-thousand foot summit. All three were able to dig themselves out of the snow and one of the hikers called the sheriff's office.

Northern Utah has been hit this week with several spring storms, topping the winter snowpack with several fresh feet of snow in the Wasatch Mountains. The Utah Avalanche Center has issued a warning as warmer temperatures are expected to increase the danger throughout the weekend.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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