A Five Hour Out Of Bounds Rescue Near Aspen Ends Well

Aspen Snowmass - Credit: AspenSkiingCompany [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
On this past Tuesday, April 9, the Aspen Mountain Ski Patrol received a call from a lost skier and her friend. This was at approximately 6:00 PM, but the rescue would last well into the night.

According to a press release from the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office, the lost skiers told the ski patrol that they were possibly in an area just below Walsh's ski run. The ski patrol began their search there but later determined that the skiers had ended up going out of bounds. It was then that the ski patrol requested assistance from the sheriff's office.

Close to an hour later a sheriff's deputy was able to make contact with that lost skiers via their cell phone. It was also at this time authorities were able to determine the approximate location of the skiers. The skiers were also instructed to continue moving downhill.

At approximately 8:55 PM, the skiers had only moved 500 feet downhill, leaving a good distance before they would reach the valley floor. The skiers had also reported the terrain to be nearly impassable and that one of the skiers had grown exhausted trying to make it down the mountain.

Four members of Mountain Rescue Aspen entered the field to begin the search for the skiers at about 9:10 PM. About a half hour later they had located the skiers. They found the skiers to be uninjured and began to lead them down the mountain in the least treacherous route available.

At 11:15 PM, just over five hours after the first call for help was received, the rescuers and the victims were safely off the mountain, still with no injuries to report.

The following is also from the press release from the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office.

"The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and Mountain Rescue Aspen would like to remind skiers and snowboarders that venturing beyond ski area boundaries in unfamiliar terrain can lead to injury or death. According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, avalanche conditions near and below treeline were “moderate” during the time of Tuesday’s rescue. Regarding “moderate” avalanche conditions, moderate avalanche conditions means there are heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features, and users should evaluate snow and terrain carefully. "


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