Former area resident hurt in Utah avalanche

Posted: January 14, 2013

The Winchester Star

A former Winchester resident is expected to make a full recovery after being buried in an avalanche while skiing in Utah.

Elisabeth Jones Malloy, 43, of Salt Lake City, and a male companion were skiing in the back country of Millcreek Canyon above Salt Lake City about 5 p.m. Saturday when they triggered the slide, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. Malloy, a 1988 graduate of Handley High School and a graduate of Shenandoah University’s School of Nursing, was caught in the slide and buried.

An experienced back-country skier, Malloy was wearing an avalanche beacon and her skiing partner was able to dig her out, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. She was transported to University Hospital in Salt Lake City. The man escaped injury.

“She’s very lucky,” Malloy’s mother, Herta Jones of Winchester, said Sunday. “She has no broken bones. She probably has some frostbite.”

The avalanche was one of four ski-triggered avalanches reported Saturday in Utah. On Sunday, the avalanche danger was rated “moderate” to “considerable” in Utah’s mountains after recent heavy snowfall.

“There’s a lot of new snow out there, and it can let go very quickly,” said Jones, who spoke with her daughter by telephone from the hospital on Sunday. “She sounded pretty shaken up. Obviously, she’s glad she survived.”

A pediatric intensive care nurse, Malloy moved with her family to Utah about seven years ago, Jones said.

“She lives out there because she loves the mountains,” Jones said.

On Saturday, Malloy hiked up a mountain to make a ski run. On the way down, “suddenly everything gave way,” Jones said. “It’s scary what can happen in just a few seconds.”

The avalanche beacon that Malloy was wearing helped her skiing partner dig her out “within minutes,” Jones said, adding that her daughter had to walk down the mountain because the rescue helicopter couldn’t land, and she couldn’t ski down because she had lost a boot and ski in the avalanche.

Malloy grew up in Winchester. Her father, S. Pannill Jones, was a local pediatrician and former City Council member. He is retired and lives in Florida.

She has two daughters, ages 17 and 9.

“Their mom is just happy she’s alive,” Jones said.

— Contact Cynthia Cather Burton at