Quandary rescue completed | SummitDaily.com

Quandary rescue completed

summit daily news

SUMMIT COUNTY – More than 25 rescuers worked for 12 hours into early Sunday morning to bring Summit County resident Martin Eisenberg safely down from 14,255-foot Quandary Peak, after the 65-year-old hiker injured himself in a fall near the summit Saturday afternoon.

Eisenberg was in an ambulance and headed for St. Anthony’s in Denver by about 1:15 a.m., said Mike Schmitt, public information officer for the Summit County Rescue Group. Rescue workers said he suffered shoulder, rib and lower leg injuries.

Eisenberg was reported as being in stable condition by 9news.com as of early Monday morning.

Schmitt described the accident, as told by Eisenberg’s wife: “His wife said the fall happened when the two hikers started to head down the South Chute off the summit of Quandary. They got in the wrong one.”

Eisenberg fell as he and a companion tried to climb across a rock spur separating the chutes and found terrain with rotten snow and sharp rocks, Schmitt said.

“It’s really unconsolidated snow up there,” Schmitt said. The rescue effort involved setting up a lengthy relay of anchor points with ropes and ice axes in the steep chute, with rivers of water flowing beneath the snow. Schmitt said the man was alert when the first team reached him in the middle of the night, and he was subsequently lowered more than 1,000 vertical feet in a litter.

Schmitt, stationed at one of the relay points for the belay, said he was dressed in full winter gear with fresh batteries in his headlamp, but still felt unprepared for the wintry conditions.

“Be prepared,” he urged hikers. “Know your snow conditions, carry an ice axe and know how to use it to self-arrest,” he said. “Know your terrain and where you are on the mountain.”

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