Aspen BASE jumper rescued after botched leap outside of Rifle
July 23, 2009
RIFLE, Colo. – Emergency crews were able to rescue an Aspen man whose parachute failed to fully deploy Wednesday while he was BASE jumping from the Roan Plateau near Rifle.
Authorities confirmed that Ted Davenport, 28, fell between 800 to 1,000 feet with only a “partially deployed” chute after making a 2,000-foot jump from the Anvil Points area, a rock formation.
A post on Davenport’s website also listed his current “spot” location using a global positioning system as being near Anvil Points at 9:16 a.m. Wednesday. Just 30 minutes before that post, the Rifle Fire Protection District received the call of the injured jumper.
There is also a video clip of a previous jump of Davenport from Anvil Points. Ted Davenport is the brother of renowned extreme skier and Snowmass Village resident Chris Davenport.
According to Deputy Fire Chief Chad Harris of the Rifle Fire Protection District, authorities received the call for help at about 9:50 a.m. Personnel hiked in from below, but were unable to access the victim because of the complex and vertical terrain, according to a press release.
Harris said it took emergency medical technicians 26 minutes to reach Davenport. They were able to stabilize his condition on the mountain but were unable to get him safely down until afternoon.
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“It’s a highly technical rescue, and it’s not something that we can facilitate quickly without all the safety mechanisms in place,” Harris said.
“The victim remained conscious and alert through out the duration of the incident,” a statement from the fire district read.
While authorities did not disclose Davenport’s condition Wednesday night, the release said he complained of “abdominal and back pain.” Authorities reported no obvious signs or symptoms of “critical injuries” at the scene. Davenport was airlifted by a Flight for Life helicopter to a Grand Junction hospital.
Harris said the rescuers were able to safely conduct a helicopter rescue using a “long line” – Davenport was secured to a basket and lowered off the mountain by a National Guard Blackhawk helicopter and crew.
Participating in the rescue were the Rifle Fire Protection District, the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team, the Mesa County Search and Rescue team, the Colorado National Guard and St. Anthony’s Flight for Life out of Frisco.
Anvil Point is a popular spot for the extreme sport of BASE jumping, Harris said. BASE stands for the four categories of fixed objects from which a person can jump: building, antenna, span and earth.