Emergency personnel rescued a sick climber near Capitol Lake on Saturday and airlifted him to Aspen Valley Hospital, according to a news release from the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.
The release states that the Pitkin County Regional Emergency Dispatch Center received a notification before noon on Saturday from the Garmin InReach support center, which had received an SOS message from a climber who was in the area of Capitol Lake near Capitol Peak. The 22-year-old male climber, a resident of Golden, had sent a text message saying he was suffering from altitude sickness, exacerbated by a preexisting medical condition.
Additionally, the man said he was dehydrated and could not walk. At that time, he was at a campsite near Capitol Lake, the release says.
Rescuers with Mountain Rescue Aspen were informed of the situation and a CareFlight helicopter stationed in Rifle was requested to assist in the operation. CareFlight left Rifle at about 1 p.m. and an MRA rescue team stood by at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport to assist if needed, the release states.
Twenty minutes after departing from Rifle, the CareFlight helicopter crew spotted the sick climber near Capitol Lake. A landing zone was located a short distance away and despite heavy winds, the CareFlight helicopter was able to land. After locating the sick climber, the CareFlight crew moved him to the helicopter and he was flown directly to Aspen Valley Hospital, according to the release.
The man was admitted to the hospital’s intensive care unit. He was treated for a serious, but non-life-threatening medical condition, the release says.