On Saturday morning, August 5, two hikers came upon a seriously injured man on Pagoda Mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park. The 34 year old from Berthoud, Colorado, had apparently fallen approximately 15 to 20 feet. They used their SPOT GPS location device at 9:45 a.m. to notify Rocky Mountain National Park’s Search and Rescue Team members of the incident.
Due to the reported nature of the man’s injuries, his location in difficult terrain and the time it would take for rescuers to reach him, Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue Team members requested assistance from Colorado National Guard to extricate the injured man from his location.
At 12:55 p.m. a Colorado National Guard helicopter lowered a litter and medic to the location. The medic and injured man were then evacuated via a hoist operation, using a winch operated cable. The Colorado National Guard helicopter flew to an alpine tundra site in the Wild Basin area and transferred the patient to a Flight For Life air ambulance that flew the man to St. Anthony’s hospital. Inclement weather during the operation provided additional challenges for air operations.
The aid provided by the two hikers who found the injured man, as well as the updates they provided to Rocky Mountain National Park’s Search and Rescue Team members, was critical to the patient’s survival.