Sylvan firefighters rescue rock climber after accident in Lime Creek
The 30-year-old climber was hit in the back with a rock and transported via helicopter to a hospital in Denver
On Saturday afternoon, firefighters on site at the Sylvan Fire were the first on scene after a rock climber in the area was struck in the back with a rock.
According to the dispatch of the accident, a 30-year-old female climber was hit in the back with a rock “the size of a microwave.” The dispatch reads that the climber was conscious and experiencing “tingling in feet.”
The Vail Public Safety Communications Center received a message calling for help at the Lime Creek and Burnt Mountain trailhead at around 3:40 p.m. on Saturday, July 3, from a SPOT tracker.
According to the White River National Forest public information officer Kelsha Anderson, after receiving the message, dispatch called the mobile command unit at Sylvan Lake to verify access along Forest Service Road 400, which was closed at the time due to the fire. The command center did grant access to local Search and Rescue along the road, but determined they had available crews to assist, as well.
Vail Mountain Rescue was prepared to respond to the incident, however, the Sylvan Fire Incident crews had the necessary personnel and resources to assist in the rescue, which reduced the response time to the climber, Anderson said. According to the dispatch, Sylvan command had available medics 5 to 10 minutes away from the site.
The climber was located nearly 200 yards off the road. Once on the scene, the firefighters used a rope system to assist the climber to the trail. From there, crews used a wheeled litter to transport the climber to the trailhead.
The climber was then transported in an ATV to a Flight for Life helicopter. According to the dispatch, she was taken via helicopter to University Hospital in Denver.
The current condition and identity of the climber are still unknown at this time.
Reporter Ali Longwell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.