Injured woman rescued from Snowmass Mountain Monday | PostIndependent.com
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Injured woman rescued from Snowmass Mountain Monday

For the second time in two days, rescue teams in the Elk Range had to call for a high-altitude helicopter to retrieve an injured hiker near the top of a 14,000-foot mountain.

On Monday, an injured woman was rescued on the west face of Snowmass Mountain, approximately 60 feet below the summit, on the Lead King Trail, in Gunnison County.

The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office said two rescuers were in the area searching for a party of overdue hikers when the sheriff’s office was told about the injured woman.

The party of four overdue hikers were later found uninjured and helped out of the field by members of Mountain Rescue Aspen at approximately 12:45 p.m.

The Gunnison County Sheriff’s Office requested assistance from Pitkin County and Mountain Rescue Aspen for the injured person near the summit of Snowmass Mountain. Flight for Life Colorado was requested to assist with locating and evaluating the situation.

Flight for Life Lifeguard 2 from Frisco flew over the area and located the woman on steep, rocky terrain just below the summit. The helicopter was unable to land near the injured person because of the terrain.

At 1:19 p.m., a National Guard High Altitude Aviation Training Site helicopter lifted off from Sardy Field carrying four members of Mountain Rescue Aspen. The HAATS Blackhawk helicopter placed the team to treat the patient.

She was packed into a litter and hoisted into the helicopter. At approximately 3:30, the 43-year-old woman with arm and pelvic injuries was airlifted from Snowmass Mountain and transferred to Aspen Ambulance at Sardy Field for evaluation and treatment at Aspen Valley Hospital.

Information about the injured female hiker was relayed to the sheriff’s office from a personal locator beacon, a device that can text message and send latitude and longitude coordinates. The Sheriff’s Office and MRA strongly encourage all backcountry hikers and climbers to carry one of these devices while in the backcountry out of cell phone range.

If the injured woman had to wait for someone to hike out it would have taken 5-6 hours for word to reach rescuers.

On Sunday, a climber was rescued after a fall at the Maroon Bells near Aspen.

That man had fallen about 20 feet Sunday morning when his hands slipped from a rock at 13,800 feet on the traverse between Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak, according to a statement from the Sheriff’s Office.

The climber appeared to have a broken leg as well as injuries to his hip, back, ribs and head, the Sheriff’s Office said.

A HAATS Blackhawk from Gypsum reached and retrieved that injured climber.


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