All of the snowboard antics this weekend weren’t confined to Buttermilk and the Land Rover U.S. Grand Prix. According to the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, on Saturday evening at 7:02 p.m. the dispatch center received a call about a “lost snowboarder who had traveled out of bounds off of Aspen Mountain in the area of Ruthie’s Run.”
The person was later identified as a 39-year-old Aspen male. The Aspen Mountain Ski Patrol and Mountain Rescue Aspen were also notified there was a need for rescuers to help as the person was possibly injured. Rugged terrain complicated the rescue further
“After numerous attempts to contact the lost snowboarder on his cell phone, and with the assistance of the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, rescue personnel were eventually able to determine that the lost snowboarder was located in Keno Gulch off of Aspen Mountain, in the Castle Creek Valley,” according to a report written by Sgt. Dustin Gray.
The rescuers first entered the field around 8:05 p.m. to search for the man. In Gray’s report it’s noted that the teams were close enough to make voice contact with the snowboarder around 9:37 p.m. At that point “It was determined that the snowboarder was cold and tired, but otherwise uninjured.”
Physical contact was made with the wayward snowboarder at 10:06 p.m and the group started to make their way downhill with him toward Aspen Country Day School.
“This was a slow process due to the snowboarder’s intoxication and because of the very rugged terrain,” according to the report. By 11:13 p.m. the teams and the rider made it to the bottom of the valley behind Aspen Country Day School. Other members of Mountain Rescue and a sheriff’s deputy also greeted the lost snowboarder. Everyone was out of the field by 11:40 p.m.
“The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and Mountain Rescue Aspen would like to use this opportunity to remind the public that backcountry travel during the winter can be dangerous under the best of circumstances; however, doing so alone and unprepared while under the influence of alcohol is a recipe for disaster,” according to the release.