PITKIN COUNTY - A backcountry skier was rescued in the Sugar Bowls area Monday evening, according to the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office.
Around 5 p.m., a skier called the Pitkin County Regional Emergency Dispatch Center because she was stuck in the Sugar Bowls area after experiencing an equipment problem. The skier left the Buttermilk Ski Area after hours to ski alone in the Sugar Bowls and reported that she was cold, weak, tired and unable to move.
Ten Mountain Rescue Aspen people were sent to rescue the skier. Rescuers rode a snowmobile up to the West Buttermilk backcountry gate where they hiked out the ridge to the Sugar Bowls. Rescuers were able to make contact with the skier. After hydrating and re-energizing the skier with food, the rescuers and skier were able to hike back to the ridge and ultimately back to the ski area. The skier was transported down the hill to an ambulance for further evaluation and care. All members were out of the field around 9 p.m.
This serves as a good reminder to be prepared when traveling in the backcountry. Darkness comes quickly during the winter, meaning temperatures drop rapidly. Survival overnight is difficult when temperatures are in the single digits. People are also encouraged to not travel alone and to carry extra clothes, warm liquids and food.
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