Aspen mountaineer recovering after second surgery |

Aspen mountaineer recovering after second surgery

Janet Urquhart
Aspen Correspondent
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Paulina Vandernoorda and Dick Jackson say sayonara to their Aspen Expeditions location above the Butcher’s Block. Look for them at Durrance Sports on the Cooper Avenue mall and at a new joint at Highlands.

ASPEN, Colorado – Aspen mountaineer Dick Jackson remained in stable but critical condition at a Denver hospital Thursday, following a paragliding accident on Mount Sopris last weekend, but he is expected to make a full recovery, according to his wife, Pauline Zander Noordaa.

Jackson, 60, had surgery on his right ankle Tuesday, following back surgery on Sunday. He has been slow to come out from under the anesthesia after the second surgery, she said.

“He’s improving. He should fully recover,” Zander Noordaa said.

Jackson was coming in for a landing Saturday after a flight off Mount Sopris near Carbondale when the wingtip on his glider clipped the top of a spruce tree roughly 20 feet in front of the meadow where he intended to land. Clipping the tree apparently increased his downward velocity. Jackson landed on his feet, but the impact caused a compression fracture in his lower back, broke his ankle and a rib, and caused the collapse of a lung.

Jackson was able to call Zander Noordaa on his cell phone; she notified authorities. Hikers in the area came to his assistance and one was able to pinpoint his location for rescuers with a GPS unit.

A Flight for Life helicopter lifted Jackson off the mountain and flew him to St. Anthony Hospital Central in Denver, where he remains.

Jackson, who had recently returned from an expedition to Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, is able to remember all the details of his accident, according to Zander Noordaa.

Many have called her to express their concern and well-wishes, she said.

Jackson is a well-known mountaineer and for his passion for paragliding off mountains.

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