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Off-duty snow patrol members rescue skier who fell thousands of feet attempting to descend Colorado peak

todayJune 21, 2024 2

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A skier is safe thanks to the quick thinking of two off-duty ski patrol members who saved him after he fell over 1,000 feet while attempting to descend South Arapaho Peak in Colorado.On Sunday, June 16, shortly after 10:30 a.m., the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a skier who had sustained serious injuries in the area of the Skywalker Couloir on South Arapaho Peak, west of Nederland.”When this call went out, it was known that this was a very serious call from the get-go. It was called out as being a 2,000-foot fall in Skywalker Couloir. And that’s a known area for us in the rescue group because we not only do rescue, but we got into rescue because we are mountaineers, climbers. We like the outdoors as well. And so, we knew this was going to be a big call from the get-go,” Andrew Hildner, PIO for the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group (RMRG), told Fox News Digital. Deputies said a 47-year-old man was beginning a ski descent of the couloir when he fell, sliding and tumbling approximately 1,000 to 2,000 feet down on the snowfield before coming to a stop at a rock ledge.CALIFORNIA HIKERS RESCUED AFTER RUNNING OUT OF WATER DURING BLISTERING HEAT WAVELuckily for the skier, there were two off-duty snow patrol members who were in the area at the time, witnessed the fall and called 911. “Basically, when I got there, my first goal was to locate the patient. And pretty early on, I was able to see that they were actually not on the snow, but they had sled all the way to the bench of hawks. So I knew that this injury would probably be significant,” Emilie Jue, an RMRG technical field team leader, described to Fox News Digital after being one of the first on the scene for the rescue. Officials said they also began to descend to where the injured man had stopped and were able to provide first aid.The area the skier was in, Skywalker Couloir, is described as being a “pretty advanced terrain.”Jue explained that it is in the backcountry in Colorado and is for advanced skiers. She added that this time of year can be especially challenging as it is so late into the ski season, the conditions pose a bigger and more challenging obstacle. Hildner echoed Jue’s statement, adding that the area the skier was in is beyond a double black diamond level, which is typically the most difficult run at most ski resorts.MYSTERY AS HUGE GROUP OF PEOPLE FALLS VIOLENTLY ILL WHILE HIKING THROUGH REMOTE PART OF GRAND CANYON”I mean, this is for expert skiers only. And there’s not, in most cases, there’s no ski patrol nearby. This patient got lucky because there were some off-duty ski patrollers that were able to help Emily. It’s a very technical ski and a technical snow climb as well and is only for advanced skiers,” Hildner said. The extensive rescue mission took more than 10 hours. RMRG medical personnel were flown in by medical helicopter and were able to climb up to the injured skier to provide additional medical care. Rescuers placed the skier in a full body vacuum splint to prepare him for transport. Officials said he was transported by helicopter to a local high school, where the helicopter landed.LOYAL DOG SAVES CAMPER’S LIFE AFTER RUNNING MILES FOR HELP: ‘NO WORDS’The skier was then taken to a hospital by ambulance. He sustained serious injuries but remained stable throughout the incident, officials said. Hildner emphasized something that many don’t realize in the state of Colorado – that when it comes to this type of search and rescue – it is totally free of cost.”Don’t hesitate to call 911 and the state of Colorado. You won’t be charged for the rescue. But what’s even better is, if you don’t need us, your day is going to be better if you don’t have to see us,” Hildner said.Other tips he had for those looking to go explore and ski in these types of terrains is to be prepared with the proper gear, let someone know your plan and where you are going, and because cell service is spotty the higher you get, he encourages people to have a satellite phone instead of only a cellphone. 

Written by: Badlands Classic Rock

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