FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Injured Skier Rescued from Bear Creek Backcountry
Contact: Susan Lilly, Public Information Officer 970-729-2028
March 2, 2017 -- (Telluride, CO) – A 50 year-old backcountry skier was rescued Thursday afternoon via helicopter extrication after she suffered a knee injury while skiing the upper area of Bear Creek in Telluride.
Telluride Ski Patrol notified San Miguel County Sheriff’s Dispatchers just after 2pm of the injured party and requested assistance with a Search and Rescue mission.
A Helitrax pilot and helicopter were secured to respond to the scene.
The patient the group she was skiing with were able to traverse to the “Wedding Chutes” area to wait for the helicopter. After a successful flyover, the patient was safely and swiftly extricated.
The Vermont woman was skiing with experienced backcountry skiers and told Deputies that she simply had a slow, twisting fall. There was no avalanche reported.
The patient was transported from the Telluride Airport to the Telluride Regional Medical Center by a Sheriff’s Deputy.
Sheriff Bill Masters said this is our second reminder in two days about the dangers of backcountry skiing. “It doesn’t take an avalanche to produce a threatening scenario for the skier, other skiers and rescue personnel.”
Sheriff Masters said March is typically when we see more incidents in the backcountry and emphasized the importance of preparedness, including self-extrication or companion extrication. “There is always a chance for any number of reasons that we won’t be able to get a helicopter or insert rescue personnel. Folks need to keep all of this in mind when venturing into the backcountry.”
The patient Telluride EMS were dispatched to the Telluride Airport to rendezvous with Helitrax but were stood down as the patient requested transportation to the Telluride Regional Medical Center via private vehicle. Additional Search and Rescue personnel, who had initially been placed on standby, were also stood down.
The San Miguel Sheriff’s Office, located in Telluride, Colorado and established in 1883, serves 7,800 residents and countless visitors across the 1,288 square miles of San Miguel County. Sheriff Bill Masters has been serving as the county’s elected Sheriff since 1980.