A 56-year-old man who took a long fall while skiing in Highland Bowl was evacuated off Aspen Highlands via helicopter on Thursday.
The man, who was not identified, fell while descending Y-2 — one of the earliest runs in the bowl, which is hike-to terrain at the top of the ski area. Ski patrol responded and found the man to be unresponsive. Through “advanced life-saving procedures,” first responders were able to re-establish a pulse and stabilize the man, who was wearing a helmet, Aspen Skiing Co. spokesman Jeff Hanle said. He was transported to a lower mountain area, near the NASTAR course, where the helicopter was able to meet and transport the patient.
Witnesses reported seeing the helicopter circling in the area of the bowl, but it did not land there. A video posted to Facebook by skier Mikey Wechsler, who happened to be in the area, shows the helicopter touching down on the flat, mid-mountain section near the runout of Bob’s Glades.
Helicopter evacuations from the ski area are rare. Hanle said it is up to the expertise of first responders to determine what course of action is necessary in a medical emergency.
“Apparently it was necessary to get him to immediate treatment and get him out as quickly as possible,” Hanle said.
He did not know if the man was transported to Aspen Valley Hospital or another facility.