Climber rescued by Black Hawk helicopter after falling 200 feet down Colorado mountain

A Colorado Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter lands during Legacy Days in Vail, Colorado, Feb. 15-18, 2016. A climber was rescued via Black Hawk by Colorado National Guardsmen after falling down a cliff Tuesday, June 11, 2019.


By KIERAN NICHOLSON | The Denver Post | Published: June 12, 2019

(Tribune News Service) — A climber who suffered life-threatening injures in a 200-foot fall near the Fourth of July Mine in the mountains of Boulder County was rescued Tuesday by a Colorado National Guard Blackhawk helicopter.

The fall was reported at about 7:30 a.m. and initial notification included the use of an emergency beacon, according to the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office.

Information was relayed to rescuers stating that the unconscious man was about 2 miles from a trailhead and he was at timberline, about 11,500 feet, according to a news release.

Emergency responders flew to the area in a Flight for Life helicopter and hiked about a quarter mile to the injured climber, the sheriff’s office said. The man had slid about 150 to 200 feet down a steep snow field. A Nederland Fire Protection District paramedic led initial first aid efforts to stabilize the victim.

The Colorado Search and Rescue Association assisted in dispatching and coordinating a Colorado Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopter from Buckley Air Force Base as part of the high-altitude rescue.

The Black Hawk picked up two hoist technicians”with the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group Rescue in the trailhead parking area and flew up mountain to the rescue scene.

The climber, a man from the Boulder area in his early 30s, suffered multiple serious injuries, the sheriff’s office said. He was hoisted into the Black Hawk and then transferred to the Flight for Life helicopter and taken to an area hospital.

Steep terrain, high altitude, snow and the remote location made the rescue effort complex. It took about four hours from first notification to airlifting the victim to the hospital.

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