Rescuers aid struggling hiker |

Rescuers aid struggling hiker

Aspen Times Staff Report

An Argentine man who was believed to be suffering from severe altitude sickness near Maroon Lake was assisted by local rescuers and taken to Aspen Valley Hospital Saturday morning.

Sergio Anchorena was admitted to AVH and spent Saturday night at the hospital. An AVH spokesperson said he was OK and would be discharged Sunday.

In the week prior to Saturday’s incident, Anchorena and a friend had been backpacking in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, according to a written statement from the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office. His ability to breathe began to deteriorate Wednesday and on Saturday he was attempting to hike out to get to the hospital, the statement said.

Less than a mile beyond Maroon Lake, Anchorena’s breathing difficulties worsened and be could no longer walk, the statement said. A ranger and a doctor administered first aid, before Deputy Bruce Benson hiked to the scene carrying bottled oxygen for Anchorena. Anchorena was suspected of suffering from pulmonary edema, a severe symptom of high altitude sickness, according to the sheriff’s office.

Eight members of Mountain Rescue Aspen, two Aspen Ambulance District paramedics, several Pitkin County Sheriff’s deputies and Forest Service rangers, as well as citizens, assisted in the effort.

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