Injured climber spends night on Pyramid |

Injured climber spends night on Pyramid

Staff report

A 55-year-old Milwaukee man spent Friday night on an exposed 13,000-foot ridge below Pyramid Peak’s summit after he was injured in a fall, according to a statement.

The man was with his 53-year-old climbing companion from Chicago the entire time as well as two teams from Mountain Rescue Aspen, the first of which reached the climbers on the saddle of Pyramid’s northeast ridge at about 2:45 a.m. The injured man was taken off the mountain by a National Guard Blackhawk helicopter at about 7:45 a.m., according to the statement from the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.

Pitkin County dispatchers first received a call from the uninjured climber at 8:05 p.m. Friday. The man said his climbing partner fell about 25 feet and was injured.

A team of four Mountain Rescue Aspen volunteers left the Maroon Bells parking lot at about 10:50 p.m. and used knowledge of the area and headlamps to make their way to the summit ridge, the statement says. A second team of five rescuers left the parking lot at 11:54 p.m.

The first team was able to stabilize the climber and determine that his injuries rendered him unable to walk, though they were not life-threatening. They also provided him with food, water and warm clothing. The second team was able to provide him with bottled oxygen.

The Blackhawk, from Gypsum, flew the climber to the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport, where an ambulance took him to Aspen Valley Hospital. The rescuers and the man’s climbing companion hiked out and were out of the wilderness by 10:35 a.m. Saturday.