After 30-foot tumble off Mount Royal, 73-year-old woman able to shake it off |

After 30-foot tumble off Mount Royal, 73-year-old woman able to shake it off

A Summit County Rescue Group response to Mount Royal this past Sunday afternoon marked the second time in as many months it's mobilized for a mission to the popular Frisco peak for an injured party.
Kevin Fixler / |

A 73-year-old Denver woman slipped and took a lengthy tumble while hiking Mount Royal in Frisco on Sunday at about 1 p.m., necessitating a response from the Summit County Rescue Group.

The part-time Summit County resident rolled down a bank about 30 feet off the side of the trail. She reportedly came to rest when a tree finally stopped her.

“At the time it was pretty traumatic, but she was evidently able to shake it off,” said Charles Pitman, a mission coordinator for the county rescue group. “She wasn’t all that far up the trail. We had a paramedic hike in to her.”

The woman never lost consciousness or stopped breathing, and only ended up with light scrapes and bruises. The rescue team member reached her in about 15 minutes and by that time she’d dusted off and gathered herself enough to hike back down with only a small amount of assistance.

“Fortunately she was very lucky. It was just one of those little ones and everything worked out,” said Mark Watson, the special operations sergeant for the Summit County Sheriff’s Office. “She managed to get out and slowly work her way down, and it was more just an escort to make sure she got out safely. So it was just minor injuries thankfully, because she was about to head out for an overseas trip.”

Despite the county’s trails being especially busy this summer, it’s been more or less a typical season for calls and missions for the county’s volunteer rescue outfit. It’s predominately been just a number of slight injuries and crews arriving on scene as a precaution.

In fact, one of the last incidents of note entailed a hiker falling and hitting his head on Silverthorne’s Buffalo Mountain on the morning of July 2. In that case, the rescue group landed 10 people on the summit with aid from St. Anthony Summit Medical Center’s Flight For Life Helicopter, and an EMT determined the hiker also could get down on his own.

Before that, a 36-year-old male climber required rescue off Mount Royal on June 3 after a 30-foot tumble of his own. The 10-hour operation in much more dangerous, jagged and rocky terrain involved a 20-member crew.

But the group remains at the ready in case an incident should suddenly crop up.

“There’s no rhyme or reason to any of it; it just comes in different waves, and sometimes things happen worse than other times,” said Watson. “I’m not really sure why. But there’s sure a lot of people out there, so maybe they’re a little more conscious, or maybe there’s just been more self-rescues because a lot of people out there work together on things.”

Dillon Reservoir, he said, has seen more activity. The sheriff’s office boat rangers have stayed busy this summer in their daily patrols with kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders getting submerged when weather patterns and conditions change quickly. A calm, sunny day can be misleading and shift on a dime, leaving some individuals ill prepared if a thunderstorm touches off or the winds take a turn.

“So far it’s been a normal season for us, but … it could be very different the rest of the year,” said Watson. “We haven’t had anything really serious, which is lucky, because usually we do have a few serious ones each season, but the year isn’t up quite yet. Unfortunately it can change in a second.”

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