Trail runner hurt in Sunday fall on Tenmile Range released from hospital | SummitDaily.com

Trail runner hurt in Sunday fall on Tenmile Range released from hospital

A Blackhawk helicopter with the Air National Guard lands at St. Anthony Summit Medical Center on Sunday after picking up an injured trail runner who fell traversing a ridgeline between Peaks 2 and 3 in the Tenmile Range.

The 52-year-old man airlifted out of the Tenmile Range on a Black Hawk helicopter Sunday has been released from the hospital.

According to the Summit County Rescue Group, the man is a skilled long-distance trail runner and climber with international experience in both sports, but his name has not been released.

Rescuers believe the man, who's not from Colorado, was hurt when he grabbed ahold of a rock face that gave way as he was traversing a ridgeline between Peaks 2 and 3 in the Tenmile Range. The loose rock caused the trail runner to lose his balance, and he tumbled about 60 feet down the mountain.

"It just goes to show how dangerous the Rocky Mountains can be," said Charles Pitman, spokesman for the Summit County Rescue Group. "As expert and well prepared as this runner was, accidents can and do happen."

According to the rescue group, after getting the call at 11:32 a.m. Sunday, teams were taken to the end of Miner's Creek Road on ATV. From there, they started hiking toward the man, who was apparently a long way from any trail.

A Flight For Life helicopter was requested to do a flyover, locate the man and search for a possible landing zone to put down rescuers and pick up the injured trail runner. However, it turned out the closest landing zone was a considerable distance away.

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Also, because the hiker's injuries were believed to be considerable and rescuers were expecting an extended ground-extraction time, they decided to request a Black Hawk helicopter from the High-Altitude Air National Guard Aviation Training Site in Eagle County.

A Black Hawk arrived on scene at about 2:42 p.m., and the injured man was hoisted into the chopper on a cable. He was then flown to St. Anthony Summit Medical Center for treatment.

After the trail runner was taken to the hospital, Summit rescue teams continued their trek to meet up with the injured runner's partner, who was descending the ridgeline. They made their way to the waiting ATVs together, and the rescue mission was complete at 7:07 p.m.

The victim suffered multiple injuries in the fall and appeared to be pretty beat up, but he was released from the hospital the same day, according to Pitman.