Utah avalanche survivor recounts experience

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 17, 2013 at 8:34 am •  Published: January 17, 2013
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Another skier came by and helped the two make their way down the mountain — Morrey and the other man on skis and Malloy on a plastic bag with one ski boot. After calling to initiate a rescue, the man helped them slide their way down until a rescue helicopter spotted them about 2 ½ hours later.

They were taken to University Hospital in Salt Lake City. Malloy has been there since receiving treatment for her frostbite in the burn unit.

Morrey said they both have years of experienced backcountry skiing, and that they knew about the considerable avalanche danger that day.

"Our judgment was overwhelmed by the pursuit of having more fun and skiing the steeper slopes and the great Utah powder," Morrey said.

Malloy said she's glad she was buried and not Morrey because she's not sure she would have been able to be calm enough to pull off the rescue. Both thanked university officials for treating them and to avalanche rescue teams for bringing them to safety.

Malloy is leaving University Hospital Wednesday. Even though she's at risk for future frost bit, she vowed to return to the snowy mountains.

"It's who I am," she said. "It's not about the powder turns, it's about the mountains. It's about the hiking, it's about the experience for me. I enjoy being in the mountains, I love snow. I've always considered myself a mountain goat."