Rescue on Mount Massive. Credit: Lake County Search and Rescue

LAKE COUNTY, Colorado – Lake County Search and Rescue responded to a call for help on Colorado’s Mount Massive on Saturday, June 22, with reports of an injured hiker on the Southwest Slopes route of the mountain. According to a social media post from the group, the initial call, made around 9:00am, included limited information outside of location.

A team from Lake County SAR hiked four miles towards the subject, making contact at around 12,300 feet, while a helicopter with Classic Air Medical flew overhead on standby. When the SAR made contact with the subject, they learned that the individual had slipped while crossing a snowfield, sliding down the mountain for about 600 feet

Fortunately, despite suffering some injuries, the individual was able to walk off the mountain with the search and rescue team.

This is a great reminder of how high angle snow fields are very common on the peaks during early summer conditions. Ensure to bring traction devices such as microspikes, and an ice axe in order to self-arrest in case of a slide.

If you wind up sliding down snow without an ice axe or crampons, you should first get onto your stomach with your feet facing down. Then, using your arms and legs, get into a push up position and self-arrest with your legs. Understanding how to self-arrest with whatever gear you have while hiking is incredibly important. For more information, check out Ortovox’s Safety Academy.

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