Skier rescued from Berthoud Pass |

Skier rescued from Berthoud Pass

Will Bublitz
Grand County correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

BERTHOUD PASS, Colo. ” In Warren Miller ski films, it looks easy, but on Saturday, a leap from a 40-foot cliff below the summit of Berthoud Pass sent an out-of-state backcountry skier to a Denver hospital.

U.S. Highway 40 was closed briefly to allow a Flight For Life helicopter to land so the injured man could be transported off the pass.

The incident began after 2 p.m. as Brantim Barus, 24, of Florissant, Mo. and his brother began skiing down the Grand County side of Berthoud Pass. When they reached the top of some cliffs, Barus reportedly jumped off the precipice.

“The kid skied over that 40-foot cliff just like in a Warren Miller movie, but he must have landed on something and sustained a back injury,” said Greg Foley of Grand County Search and Rescue. “Fortunately, he was with his brother. There were also some people watching from across the valley on Highway 40 and they called for help.”

According to Foley, the 9-1-1 cell phone caller apparently told the Grand County Sheriff’s dispatcher that the victim was “right next to the road.”

When the first group of rescuers arrived, they realized Barus was a few hundred yards away on the other side of the valley and the rescue would be more complicated.

Grand County Search and Rescue was called and, along with passers-by who volunteered to join the rescue, reached Barus within a few minutes.

“He was conscious, stable and in good spirits, but was definitely a hurting unit,” Foley said.

The rescuers secured Barus to a backboard and placed him in a rescue sled. It took several minutes to drag the sled back across the valley’s deep snow and up a steep slope to the highway, where he was placed in the waiting ambulance.

He was taken by helicopter to Denver.


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