An injured hiker was airlifted from Snowmass Lake on Thursday morning.
The father of the male hiker reported the injury to local dispatchers around 8 a.m., according to a news release from the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office. The father, who was in the Front Range, said he received an “InReach message” from a passerby who made contact with his son at Snowmass Lake Campground.
The son had a severe ankle injury and could not walk out of the campground on his own accord. The InReach message contained GPS coordinates for the son’s location, the release says.
At 8:30 a.m., the sheriff’s office and Mountain Rescue Aspen assembled a team to find and bring back the hiker, the release states. A Flight For Life helicopter was called to assist and three MRA members were flown to the scene while another three began hiking from the Snowmass Lake trailhead.
The hiker soon was picked up by MRA personnel at the campground and taken to a safe landing zone to meet the helicopter. He was airlifted to Aspen Valley Hospital by 11 a.m. and treated for a broken ankle, according to the release.
All of the involved emergency workers were out of the field by 11:50 a.m. A total of 12 MRA members participated in the operation, in addition to personnel from the sheriff’s office, the county’s dispatch center and the helicopter, the release adds.
In the release, authorities reminded individuals venturing into the backcountry that proper foot attire can help reduce the risk of ankle injuries while hiking on unstable ground.