Aspen rescuers busy on Capitol Peak, at the Grottos |

Aspen rescuers busy on Capitol Peak, at the Grottos

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN, Colorado – Aspen rescuers helped retrieve a fallen climber on Capitol Peak Saturday while another team came to the aid of a woman who was critically injured on Independence Pass.

The Capitol climber had fallen about 150 feet from a subpeak known as K2 and sustained multiple injuries, according to the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.

Rescuers were summoned shortly after 2:30 p.m. Twenty-three members of Aspen Mountain Rescue responded, along with DBS Helicopters, Flight for Life and the sheriff’s office. Rescuers reached the climber at 6:45 p.m. and he was airlifted off the mountain shortly after 8 p.m. after a “challenging” haul up the slope by rescuers, according to the sheriff’s office.

Pilot Doug Sheffer of DBS Helicopters picked up the patient on a small landing zone on a saddle below the summit of K2, the sheriff’s office said. No information about the climber’s identity or condition was provided in a sheriff’s office press release late Saturday.

Saturday’s incident was the second airlift from Capitol Peak this month. On July 10, a Colorado Springs man was killed in a fall from the ridge between K2 and the Mount Daly saddle. A helicopter was used to deliver rescuers to the area, pick up the climber’s partner and retrieve the body the following day.

K2 is a point on 14,130-foot Capitol Peak, northeast of the infamous Knife Edge – a thin ridge of rock – that leads to the summit from K2. Capitol is considered one of Colorado’s most difficult fourteeners to climb; the only nontechnical route requires crossing the exposed Knife Edge. The peak is located in southern Pitkin County, west of Aspen.

Woman falls into ice caves at Grottos

Sheriff’s office deputies, Aspen firefighters and ambulance personnel responded to the Grottos on Independence Pass Saturday at about 6:45 p.m., where a woman had fallen and was reportedly unconscious. The Grottos is a popular recreation area along the Roaring Fork River, about 9 miles east of Aspen.

Tasha Goodson of Denver, 23, had fallen an estimated 15 to 25 feet into the ice caves, according to the report.

Paramedics stabilized Goodson, and firefighters and ambulance personnel hauled her out using climbing gear and a rescue litter, according to the sheriff’s office. She was taken to Aspen Valley Hospital in critical condition and then flown to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction for specialized treatment at about 8:30 p.m., the sheriff’s office said.

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