Boarder, rescuers spend night outside
April 28, 2003
An injured snowboarder and his rescuers spent a chilly Saturday night on Star Peak south of Aspen while waiting to be evacuated from the area by helicopter.
The snowboarder, a 21-year-old man from Great Britain, suffered a lacerated spleen in a fall Saturday afternoon while skiing a Star Peak bowl. The extent of his injuries required a full rescue effort, authorities said. The man was in intensive care Sunday evening.
“From what we understand, he basically did a face-first plant, where your legs come up behind you,” said Pitkin County Deputy George Kremer. “Some people would call it a `scorpion.’ There was a lot of pain.”
The sheriff’s department received an emergency call from the snowboarder’s companions around 4 p.m., and a Mountain Rescue-Aspen team was paged by 5 p.m. Both agencies set out toward Star Peak on skis and snowmobiles, Kremer said.
Once the rescue team contacted the snowboarder and his party, the group determined that a ground evacuation would be impossible. The injured man was then wrapped tightly to guard against the cold, and the rescue team buckled down to spend the night on the mountain.
“They did have to spend the night out at 12,000 feet,” Kremer said.
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A helicopter was dispatched to Star Peak at daylight Sunday, Kremer said. The injured man arrived at Aspen Valley Hospital at 8:15 a.m., where he was stabilized and admitted to the intensive care unit.
The Mountain Rescue team wrapped up its operation by 10 a.m. yesterday, Kremer said.
“Mountain Rescue did a really spectacular job on this,” he said.
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