Backcountry skier rescued near 10th Mtn. huts

Staff report

A backcountry skier was brought to safety by rescuers and aided by paramedics Thursday night after she became too fatigued to make it to the 10th Mountain Division Huts known as Betty Bear, according to a press release from the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.

The skier, of Fruita, used an SOS feature on her Garmin watch to ask public-safety officials for help, telling them she had food but her water had frozen. Her friends had already made it to the hut, but she was too exhausted to continue, the press release said.

The skier’s updated coordinates showed authorities she was heading back to the trailhead. Shortly after, deputies received a message that a person from the skier’s group was going to look for her.

At 6:13 p.m., Mountain Rescue Aspen (MRA) sent eight members — four on skis, four on snowmobiles — into the field. An additional four members remained at a MRA cabin for the operational side of the rescue, the release said.

MRA teams arrived at the trailhead with the female skier at approximately 9:05 p.m., where they were met by Roaring Fork Fire and Rescue ambulance and paramedics. Paramedics assessed the skier and determined she was cold but in good condition otherwise.

“The Pitkin County Sheriff, Joe DiSalvo, would like to extend his gratitude to all organizations, (MRA, and RFFR) involved in getting the female skier back to safety. Mountain Rescue Aspen would like to remind backcountry users that it’s best to keep groups together and have a communication plan when traveling in the wilderness. Garmin InReach and other satellite communication devices continue to prove to be invaluable in our backcountry,” the release said.

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