Skier injured in Pitkin Creek avalanche
A backcountry avalanche east of Vail left one skier with a broken leg, who only had to wait less than an hour and a half to be rescued.
Three skiers were in the Pitkin Creek area of East Vail when an avalanche let loose around 9 a.m.
One skier, who has not yet been identified, was injured when caught in the avalanche. No other injuries and no deaths were reported, said Jessie Mosher, public information officer with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.
Vail Mountain Rescue located the skier, who could not be moved because of the injury.
The local volunteer rescue group called aviators from Colorado Air National Guard’s High Altitude Aviation Training Site (HAATS), who immediately dispatched a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter to extract the skier, said Capt. Scott Tucker with HAATS.
Between the quick work of Vail Mountain Rescue volunteers and HAATS aviators, the injured skier was in an ambulance less than an hour and a half from the time the first Vail Mountain Rescue volunteers arrived at the staging area, at Vail Mountain School.
The skier was transported by Eagle County Paramedic Services to the Vail Valley Medical Center.
Vail Mountain Rescue does not charge for its rescue operations, and neither does HAATS.
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center said avalanche danger is considerable at, or near treeline for Eagle and Summit counties.
Today’s East Vail avalanche follows last week’s fatal avalanche on the west side of Aspen Mountain outside the ski area, where a man was caught and killed in a 630-foot slide.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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