A 26-year-old man from Texas was successfully airlifted out of the backcountry to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs on Monday evening after he was impaled by a trekking pole while attempting to cross a stream near Snowmass Lake.
Two off-duty paramedics who were hiking Maroon-Snowmass Trail happened upon the injured man in an area known as Lost Remuda Basin, at a more than 10,800-foot elevation. Mountain Rescue Aspen volunteers then mobilized a ground team to send into the field.
“[MRA] learned from the International Emergency Response Coordination Center that the injured man had a piercing through his groin, that the bleeding had been controlled, and that he needed immediate evacuation,” a Tuesday morning news release from Pitkin County’s alert system says.
That call to dispatch occurred at approximately 6:55 p.m. By about 9 p.m. Monday, Careflight of the Rockies notified Mountain Rescue Aspen that the patient was being airlifted to the hospital via helicopter.
At 1:56 a.m. Tuesday, the ground team found the man’s 25-year-old wife, who was still on trail and without provisions after they had been washed away during the stream crossing. By 7:30 a.m., everyone was safely out of the backcountry.
“The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and Mountain Rescue Aspen would like for anyone who is venturing into remote locations to be aware that there is technology available to use in the event of an emergency and would encourage all backcountry users to include two-way communication devices as part of their gear selection,” the release states.