DENVER (KDVR) – A skier who ventured out into the backcountry on Saturday afternoon required the assistance of rescue crews after falling into a river near the Snowmass Ski area.
According to officials with the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, emergency dispatch received a report of an out-of-bound skier who had fallen into a river in the area near the West Willow drainage at roughly 3:09 p.m.
Shortly after receiving the alert, Snowmass Ski Patrol discovered a solitary set of ski tracks heading away from the ski area near the run known as “The Wall.”
Additionally, patrol personnel told dispatch they had found GPS coordinates and were willing to launch a search effort to locate the missing backcountry skier.
The mission was approved and personnel from Mountain Rescue Aspen joined the effort, entering the field from the CB Cameron Rescue Center.
Not long after the search was launched, ski patrol personnel located the uninjured skier in the West Willow drainage. Once the ski patrol and the skier met up with Mountain Rescue Aspen, they began the journey down the mountain toward T-Lazy 7 Ranch, where they all arrived at roughly 6:10 p.m.
“The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and Mountain Rescue Aspen would like to remind everyone of the importance of being aware of the risks of backcountry skiing,” a representative with PCSO said in a statement released on Sunday morning.
Additionally, officials said that if you plan to head out into Colorado’s backcountry, be aware that services are not available outside of ski areas and it is your responsibility to get in and out of the field safely of your own accord.