Hiker who fell 400 feet rescued near Snowmass Lake

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PITKIN COUNTY, Colo. — A hiker was rescued after she fell about 400 feet near Snowmass Lake in Pitkin County on Tuesday afternoon.

Around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Pitkin County Regional Emergency Communications Center received a report about a 27-year-old woman who fell about 400 feet down a steep, snowy, scree-covered slope near Snowmass Lake, which is near Snowmass Mountain in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area. Authorities also learned that the woman may have an open leg fracture and head injury, according to the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.

The communications center learned about the incident after the FocusPoint Overwatch and Rescue Center received an emergency message from a rescue beacon in the area.

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At the time the emergency was reported, at least three bystanders, including a nurse, were caring for the injured hiker, the sheriff’s office said.

The sheriff’s office quickly requested the help of Mountain Rescue Aspen (MRA) and CareFlight of the Rockies.

Around 6 p.m., a two-person rescue team was dropped off at the lake by the helicopter and two rescue teams started to walk in from the Snowmass Creek trailhead.

The two people who had been dropped off at the lake reached the injured woman by 6:25 p.m. With the help of others in the area, the rescuers began to move the hiker toward the landing zone for the CareFlight helicopter. As they did this, the helicopter pilot dropped off a flight nurse, a flight paramedic and additional rescuers with MRA.

Rescuers reached the landing zone with the injured woman around 8:15 p.m. and loaded her into the helicopter, which arrived at Aspen Valley Hospital around 8:30 p.m., the sheriff’s office said.

Hospital staff confirmed the woman’s injuries were not life-threatening.

All rescuers were out of the field shortly after midnight.