Woman airlifted to Grand Junction after falling on Capitol Ditch Trail

Aspen Times staff report
Mountain Rescue Aspen

A 75-year-old woman who slipped and fell on a trail’s stream crossing on Friday was airlifted to a hospital in Grand Junction, according to a news release issued by the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.

Emergency dispatch received a call at approximately 12:10 p.m. by a family member with the woman, who was experiencing shortness of breath and pain in her back and ribs. The woman’s fall occurred about 1 1/2 miles up the Capitol Ditch Trail, which is one of two trails used to access Capitol Lake from the Capitol Creek Trailhead (approximately 24 miles northwest of Aspen).

A team of 17 Mountain Rescue Aspen volunteers, three crew members with CareFlight of the Rockies and two Pitkin County sheriff’s deputies participated in the search-and-rescue effort, the release said.

A CareFlight helicopter with a pilot, a paramedic and a nurse was dispatched from Rifle following a request from MRA, landing at the scene at approximately 1:33 p.m., the release said. The scene’s elevation was 9,500 feet.

The crew determined the woman needed further medical attention, and, at 2:11 p.m., she was airlifted to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Grand Junction. One of the helicopter’s crew members was left behind because of the aircraft’s weight restrictions, the release said.

MRA volunteers on the scene assisted the woman’s relatives and the remaining CareFlight crew member back to the trailhead, according to the release.

“The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank Mountain Rescue Aspen and CareFlight of the Rockies for their rapid response to this medical emergency,” the release stated.