Woman rescued from Sugar Bowls area outside of Buttermilk Ski Area

Staff report

Ten members of Mountain Rescue Aspen helped rescue a skier who got stuck in the Sugar Bowls area outside of the Buttermilk Ski Area boundary Monday evening.

The 60-year-old woman refused medical treatment Monday night after volunteers from Mountain Rescue Aspen brought her safely out of the wilderness near Buttermilk Mountain, said Pitkin County Sheriff’s Deputy Alex Burchetta.

The skier called 911 around 5 p.m. reporting an equipment problem, according to a Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office statement issued just after 10 p.m.

“The skier left the Buttermilk Ski Area after hours to ski alone in the Sugar Bowls and reported that she was cold, weak, tired and unable to move,” the statement said.

Mountain Rescue Aspen deployed 10 people into the field. Rescuers were taken by snowmobile up to the West Buttermilk backcountry gate where they hiked out the ridge to the Sugar Bowls, the statement said. Rescuers were able to make contact with the skier who was cold, tired and weak.

“After hydrating and re-energizing the skier with food, the rescuers and skier were able to hike back to the ridge and ultimately back to the ski area,” the statement said. “The skier was transported down the hill to an ambulance for further evaluation and care.”

All members were out of the field at around 9:10 p.m.

Mountain Rescue Aspen and the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office remind backcountry travelers that darkness descends quickly in the winter and temperatures drop rapidly when the daylight ends.

“Temperatures in the single digits make overnight survival difficult,” the statement said. “People should be prepared and not travel alone in the backcountry, carry extra clothes for warmth and warm liquids and food for energy.”


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