An injured skier was rescued from the Fourth of July Bowl near Independence Pass by Mountain Rescue Aspen on Thursday.
A citizen notified Mountain Rescue Aspen about the skier around 10:50 a.m., according to a press release sent out by the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office. MRA was told that a 30-year-old woman had broken her ankle while skiing the bowl, which is a backcountry ski area that is accessible from the summit of Independence Pass.
According to the release, MRA and the sheriff’s office coordinated the rescue response, and 16 volunteers from MRA entered the field to help the woman while another four responded to the C.B. Cameron Rescue Center to help coordinate resources.
The rescue team reached the woman around 12:30 p.m. and determined that she would need to be lowered by litter and ropes to the valley floor, according to the release. She was lowered from the bowl, carried across the valley floor and transported by metal ladder across the Roaring Fork River. The woman and the rescue team reached Highway 82 around 1:40 p.m., and the skier was assessed further by medical personnel from the Aspen Ambulance District. All members of MRA were out of the field by 3 p.m.
The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and Mountain Rescue Aspen would like to remind skiers and snowboarders that backcountry summer skiing conditions are often unpredictable and can vary greatly in a short amount of time.
Terrain that is initially able to be skied safely may become unsafe for skiing, due to changing weather conditions and higher temperatures, as the day progresses.