HAATS Blackhawk used in rescue of injured climber on North Maroon Peak near Aspen

By Real Vail
Real AspenSeptember 22, 2013
Rescuers used a Blackhawk helicopter from High Altitude Aviation Training Site (HAATS) at the Eagle County Regional Airport on Saturday to airlift a 59-year-old man injured in a 50-foot fall near the summit of North Maroon Peak near Aspen.

The man was climbing with four others when he slipped and fell about 200 feet from the summit of 14,014-foot North Maroon Peak, which is about 10 miles southwest of Aspen in the rugged Elk Mountains, according to the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.

The man's climbing companions called for help around noon and a Flight for Life helicopter out of Summit County then brought in members of Mountain Rescue Aspen, who were able to help the injured climber slowly walk down the mountain.

North Maroon Peak.
Courtesy of 14er.com

A Blackhawk helicopter from HAATS, a National Guard training facility at the Eagle County Airport, then took the injured climber off the mountain and brought him to the Aspen Pitkin County Airport. There an Aspen Ambulance took him to the Aspen Valley Hospital.

His injuries were described as "a possible broken jaw and multiple other injuries."

All 20 members of the MRA rescue team were out of the field by 8 p.m.

"The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and Mountain Rescue Aspen want to remind hikers and climbers that the Elk Mountains are dangerous and unpredictable and those that venture out should be prepared to spend the night in wilderness unexpectedly," officials said in a press release. "Please purchase a CORSAR card online at the Colorado Department of Local Affairs website, the Sheriff’s Office and Ute Mountaineer."

The CORSAR search and rescue card costs $3 a year and helps fund volunteer organizations like MRA. Anyone in need of rescue who does not have a CORSAR card or a valid hunting-fishing license or boat, snowmobile or ATV license can be subject to thousands of dollars in rescue charges.

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