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Injured backcountry skier rescued from Mount Yeckel Sunday after head injury

Location of Mount Yeckel
Posted at 9:50 AM, Feb 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-17 11:50:42-05

PITKIN COUNTY, Colo. — A backcountry skier was able to use his InReach device to call for help Sunday after suffering from a head injury on Mount Yeckel.

Around 2:35 p.m. on Sunday, a skier used his InReach electronic communication device to issue an emergency signal, which was picked up from the International Emergency Response Coordination Center. The center then reached out to the Pitkin County Regional Emergency Dispatch Center, according to the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office.

The signal from the InReach device stemmed from an area on Mount Yeckel, about 9 miles northeast of Aspen. Deputies notified Mountain Rescue-Aspen, which provides search and rescue services through Pitkin County, as well as others.

Authorities were able to communicate with the man more through his InReach device. They learned he was a 36-year-old backcountry skier who had suffered a head injury while skiing. His fellow skiers were with him and tried to help while they waited for rescue personnel, according to the sheriff's office.

READ MORE: These devices, apps could save your life if you face trouble in the Colorado backcountry

A total of 21 volunteers with Mountain Rescue-Aspen responded.

The man was transported down the mountain on a toboggan pulled by a snowmobile. At the trailhead, the rescuers and man met with an ambulance and he was transported to Aspen Valley hospital. All volunteers were out of the field by 10:30 p.m., according to the sheriff's office.

The sheriff's office and Mountain Rescue-Aspen asks all backcountry users to have a two-way communication device that is not dependent on a cell phone signal.