Man injured paragliding off Aspen Mountain |

Man injured paragliding off Aspen Mountain

Staff report

A man who crashed into the side of Aspen Mountain on Wednesday morning while paragliding was airlifted from Aspen Valley Hospital to an undisclosed health-care facility later in the day.

A Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office statement said that according to witnesses, the paraglider encountered some turbulence shortly after takeoff at the top of the Walsh’s ski run and lost control when his chute collapsed. One side of the chute became entangled with the chute’s control lines.

When it filled with air again, the chute could only partially fill because of the tangle. The paraglider then spiraled out of control for about three turns before the chute caught the top of a tree, causing the victim to crash into the hillside near the bottom of Walsh’s, the statement said.

Contacted by phone, sheriff’s Deputy Adam Crider said he could not release the name of the injured paraglider or provide details on his medical condition.

“This was basically an ambulance call,” Crider said. “He was transferred from Aspen to a different hospital for what I believe were internal injuries.”

Emergency dispatchers received the 911 call about the injured paraglider at about 9:50 a.m. Personnel with Aspen Ambulance, the Sheriff’s Office and Mountain Rescue Aspen were able to drive to within about 50 yards of him, the statement said. With assistance from others on the scene, they took him off the ski run and into an ambulance.

Walsh’s is located on the east side of Aspen Mountain. Crider said the top of the run is a popular departure spot for paragliders.

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