SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — Several weekend search and rescue operations have authorities across Utah urging preparedness.
Teams helped victims in Cache and Washington County, as well as a man who crashed and broke his leg while backcountry skiing in Big Cottonwood Canyon.
A Unified Fire spokesman said the wreck happened near Donut Falls, and the man was almost to the top of the mountain. They received a call about the incident on Sunday at around 12:30 p.m.
More from 2News
Crews said they got the man off the mountain with just a couple of hours of daylight left.
Between windy conditions, the snow, and the location of the injured skier, teams said it was pretty difficult getting to him.
Hikers, snowmobilers and helicopters were deployed. Skiers in the canyon at Solitude Mountain Resort said they could see the helicopters in the air and knew immediately someone was in serious trouble.
In addition to Unified Fire, rescue teams included a number of agencies, including Wasatch Backcountry Search and Rescue and Salt Lake County Search and Rescue.
Captain Jason Camp with Unified Fire told 2News the skier was surrounded by trees in waist-deep snow.
Additionally, the skier and his friend both had their phone batteries die on the mountain, so they were unable to call for help. However, a skier came across the pair and was able to make that call for them.
After a failed landing attempt by the first helicopter, Capt. Camp said a second helicopter was able to land and get the victim, who was transported by ambulance to a hospital for additional medical care.
Other skiers at the scene said they were just relieved to learn the injured man was safely rescued before dark.
The Salt Lake County Sheriff's Mountain Rescue team has additional safety information and tips at saltlakesearchandrescue.org.