Mountain Rescue called to aid injured man at Capitol Lake
A Mountain Rescue Aspen team was mobilized Wednesday to assist a 65-year-old man who dislocated his shoulder while climbing Capitol Peak.
Garrett Bouton of San Francisco injured his shoulder somewhere below the summit at about 9 a.m. yesterday, but rescuers did not get the call for help until mid-afternoon, when the climbing party got back to its Capitol Lake camp, according to Mountain Rescue member David Swersky.
From camp, the party was able to call for help with a cell phone, Swersky said.
The first Mountain Rescue team started up the trail to the lake at about 4 p.m. The injured man, accompanied by a guide, had already started down to meet his rescuers. Mountain Rescue had the man back at the trailhead just after 9 p.m. last night.
“He’s in pain, but he’s doing OK,” Swersky said. The rescue team took a litter with them, but the man found it less painful to walk than to be carried, he said.
Swerksky did not know if the man’s shoulder remained dislocated or if rescuers had managed to pull his shoulder back into alignment. An emergency room physician from Aspen Valley Hospital and several emergency medical technicians were part of the rescue team, he said.
“The one thing we know is, the longer something’s out, the harder it is to put it back in. Twelve hours is a long time,” Swersky said.
The hike from the trailhead to Capitol Lake is about seven miles. Capitol Peak is located in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, south of Old Snowmass.
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