A Mountain Rescue Aspen team on Saturday responded to an emergency activation from a GPS tracking device in the area of Thunder Pyramid Peak and escorted an injured climber safely off the nearly 14,000-foot peak.
The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office received a report of an ‘SOS’ activation from a SPOT device around 1:50 p.m., a press release says.
Mountain Rescue Aspen (MRA) immediately mobilized and was able to track the SPOT device’s GPS coordinates through continual updated location pings. It was determined that due to the location and very slow pace of movement, an injury or other emergency was likely the cause of the SOS activation.
MRA deployed foot teams into the field at approximately 3:45 p.m. The first MRA foot team made contact with the device’s owner around 5:30 p.m. That person led them toward the injured climber, who was approximately 150 feet above. MRA made contact with the person, who was at roughly 11,700 feet on Thunder Pyramid.
It was determined the climber had taken a substantial fall, and suffered moderate injuries to his upper body. In-field stabilization was performed, and with the help of MRA members, the subject was able to walk out of the field under his own power.
The mission involved 21 MRA members who were safely out of the field by 9 p.m.
Mountain Rescue Aspen would like to remind backcountry users to exercise caution and safe travel techniques while navigating steep, snow-covered terrain in the backcountry, and to be prepared for any variable conditions they may encounter.