Girl rescued from wilderness after fall | AspenTimes.com

Girl rescued from wilderness after fall

BASALT ” A 14-year-old girl on a Carbondale school’s wilderness outing was rescued from a remote spot in the Fryingpan Valley early Friday morning after she tripped and injured her back on a hike on Thursday, according to authorities.

Rescuers placed the girl on a stretcher and hiked out rather than wait for a helicopter to evacuate her on Friday because of concerns about her injuries, said Cleve Williams, a group leader with West Eagle County Search and Rescue.

The girl injured her neck in the fall, Williams said. Rescuers got her to a trailhead at about 1:40 a.m. and she was taken by ambulance to Aspen Valley Hospital. The girl was released later Friday morning, according to Lisa Raleigh, director of communications at Colorado Rocky Mountain School. The school didn’t release the student’s name as part of its privacy policy.

Raleigh said all new students go on a 10-day “wilderness orientation” at the start of each school year. This year’s group included two adults and one student leader. One of the leaders called the school by satellite phone and alerted officials of the injury, then calls were placed at about 2:30 p.m. to Eagle and Pitkin counties.

The accident occurred in steep and thickly vegetated terrain near Savage Peak in the Holy Cross Wilderness Area, roughly 30 miles east of Basalt, authorities said.

Three volunteers from West Eagle County Search and Rescue hiked in from the Henderson Trail area, east of the popular Savage Lakes Trailhead, Williams said.

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Five other volunteers from the Vail Mountain Rescue Group were flown to the area by helicopter.

Williams said his group didn’t reach the girl in time to remove her to a place where a helicopter could land before nightfall. The five-mile hike out required lowering her stretcher by rope about one-third of the time, he estimated. Authorities said there were eight to 10 people in the CRMS group. Raleigh said the group remained on the backpacking trip and is due out on Monday.

scondon@aspentimes.com

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