Teen skier hits tree at Buttermilk | AspenTimes.com

Teen skier hits tree at Buttermilk

John Colson

A local teenager remained in “good condition” Sunday at Aspen Valley Hospital with a ruptured liver he suffered when he hit a tree on Buttermilk Mountain last week.

Jacob Richards, 18, was skiing with a group of students from Aspen High School on Feb. 4 when he turned to watch another student negotiate a jump at the top of the Baby Doe run, according to reports.

According to the teen’s mother, Aspen City Council member Rachel Richards, her son turned “just for a second to look over his shoulder” and was in the process of facing front again when he ran into a tree.

Richards was conscious and able to talk with patrollers when they arrived, according to Aspen Skiing Co. spokeswoman Rose Abello. But he was complaining of “generalized chest pain, and the pain got worse” apparently due to his labored breathing.

Richards was taken to Aspen Valley Hospital where Dr. Bill Rodman performed chest surgery and discovered the injury to the liver, according to his mother. He reportedly was in the Intensive Care ward for 24 hours, but was moved to a general care room by Friday evening.

Rachel Richards, who spent Friday with her son at the hospital, said Friday evening that “they say he’s going to be fine,” and that he should be able to leave the hospital within a week or so.

An Aspen Valley Hospital spokesperson reported Sunday afternoon that Richards “is doing fine” and in “good condition.” Richards said her son apparently received no other injuries.

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On the Fly: Forever thankful


I try to remember to give thanks every day I spend outside, whether it be floating the Colorado or Roaring Fork, fishing an epic dry fly hatch on the Fryingpan, or teasing up tiny brook trout on a remote lake or stream. We’re spoiled rotten here, so it’s easy to be thankful.

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