A 10-hour rescue of a cliffed out snowboarder took place at Aspen Highlands on March 10th, according to a press release from the Pitkin County Sheriff’s office. Ski patrollers were assisting two out-of-bounds skiers when they were alerted about the snowboarded, who had managed to get stuck near an area known as the Staircase on the west side of the mountain. Ski patrol made contact with the man and gave him snowshoes, but he was still unable to ascend away from the cliff.
Mountain Rescue Aspen (MRA), with the assistance of the Colorado National Guard High Altitude Aviation Training Site (HAATS), made several attempts to remove the snowboarder with a helicopter, but, due to poor weather and visibility, were forced to abandon that tactic. Instead, a 37 man over-the-snow rescue uphauled the snowboarder over 1,500 feet, returning him to the ski area at around 10 P.M.
This is a great reminder to learn the mountain when you’re skiing or snowboarding, or at least make sure you’re with someone who knows it. Don’t ski in areas that aren’t deemed safe, and don’t go beyond your limits!
Image Credit: Aspen Highlands on Instagram