“The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and Mountain Rescue Aspen would like to remind everyone of the importance of being aware of the risks of backcountry skiing.”

A backcountry rescue operation was launched Saturday afternoon after a skier ventured out-of-bounds at Snowmass and ended up falling into a river near the Colorado resort.

FOX31 reports emergency dispatch received a report of the skier in distress at roughly 3pm. Shortly there after, Snowmass Ski Patrol discovered a single set of ski tracks heading away from the ski area near the run known as “The Wall.” Ski patrol personnel communicated with dispatch they had found GPS coordinates and were willing to begin a search mission to locate the missing skier.

That mission was approved. Ski patrol was later joined by personnel from Mountain Rescue Aspen. Not long after ski patrol personnel located the uninjured skier in the West Willow drainage. The search party and the skier then began the journey down the mountain toward T-Lazy 7 Ranch where they arrived around 6pm.

Officials want to use this incident as a reminder that if you plan to head out into Colorado’s backcountry that you need to be aware that services are not available outside of ski areas and it is your responsibility to get in and out of the field safely of your own accord. images from SteamboatResort FB