Climber near Snowmass Lake airlifted out after SOS call | AspenTimes.com

Climber near Snowmass Lake airlifted out after SOS call

Second hiker needed help Saturday near Crater Lake

Staff reports

A climber near Snowmass Lake had to be airlifted out Saturday night and taken to Aspen Valley Hospital, according to a news release Sunday from Pitkin County.

The man, who was transported via Flight for Life to the hospital, is believed to have suffered a broken leg and head injury, said Pitkin County Sheriff’s Deputy Levi Borst.

“We believe he fell down a slope and ran into a rock buttress,” he said, adding that it was “hard to know” whether the injuries came from the actual fall or his collision with the buttress.

Borst said he did not believe the man’s injuries to be life-threatening. The man, who is from the Roaring Fork Valley but his name was not immediately released, was alone at the time of the incident, Borst said.

The Pitkin County Sheriff's Office received a SOS notification just after 5 p.m. for a climber above Snowmass Lake who was in distress. A member of the Mountain Rescue Aspen team was camping in the area and went to investigate the good Samaritan's call.

After assessing the climber's injuries, “MRA teams (were) deployed into the field via Flight for Life.  MRA crews working through the darkness, packaged the patient and lowered him to a safe landing zone.  Flight for Life then returned to collect the injured climber and transport him to Aspen Valley Hospital," the release stated.

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Mountain Rescue Aspen asks hikers to travel with a partner in the backcountry and be “prepared for winter climbing conditions year round," the release said. In all, 18 member of the rescue team, Flight for Life and sheriff's office helped.

There was another hiker assist Saturday at about 4 p.m. at the Crater Lake trailhead near the Maroon Bells. The person was suffering from "acute mountain sickness" and was carried out and transported to the hospital, county officials said.

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