BISHOP, Calif. (AP) - Authorities say a pair of climbers scaling ice in California's eastern Sierra Nevada mountains had to be rescued by helicopter after they both fell and suffered major injuries.
The 49-year-old woman fell mid-Sunday afternoon on ice shoots near Red Lake, breaking her leg. She pulled down her 52-year-old climbing companion, who hit his head. The pair from Salt Lake City, Utah, told authorities they weren't sure how far they tumbled.
The California Highway Patrol says the Inyo County Sheriff's Department asked the CHP helicopter to rescue the climbers from an elevation of 12,000 feet in windy conditions.
The pair was flown from the mountainside and taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital.
Authorities say it is unlikely the injured climbers would have survived a cold night on the mountain.
Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.