Aspen rescuers retrieve 73-year-old bicyclist after fall into river
ASPEN, Colorado – Rescuers were summoned to help a 73-year-old bicyclist Saturday after he got stuck in mud left from a slide on the Rio Grande Trail, then fell down a steep hill into the Roaring Fork River.
The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a bicyclist in trouble shortly before 2 p.m. The man had ridden into a closed section of the trail and became stuck in about a foot of mud. With the help of others, he was freed from the mud, but then fell off the trail and tumbled down to the river.
The trail, between Cemetery Lane in Aspen and W/J Ranch above Woody Creek, was closed Friday after a huge mudslide at Stein Falls. The sheriff’s office announced Saturday morning that the trail section would be closed until further notice.
The bicyclist, whose name was not released by authorities, was helped back onto shore by two kayakers. He was complaining of a hip injury.
Twelve members of Mountain Rescue Aspen, along with two sheriff’s deputies, three county Open Space and Trails rangers and the city’s parks and trails ranger all helped get the patient back to Stein Park near the bottom of Cemetery Lane. He was taken by ambulance to Aspen Valley Hospital.
Saturday’s incident came after an injured hiker on the Cathedral Lake Trail, south of Aspen, required a rescue on Thursday.
The victim, 48, of Aspen, injured her ankle about a half mile up the trail and was unable to walk out, according to the sheriff’s office. The call came in at about 4:30 p.m.
Mountain Rescue Aspen was summoned, and a four-person “hasty team” responded. As rescuers reached the victim, hazardous weather conditions developed, with lightning and heavy rain that made communications difficult and footing on the trail sketchy. Mountain Rescue carried the victim to the trailhead, and she was taken to the hospital by a private vehicle; it is believed she suffered a broken ankle, the sheriff’s office said.
Rescuers were out of the field at 7:30 p.m.
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