The 37-year-old backcountry skier who was seriously injured after falling 2,000-vertical-feet in the Wilson Peak area outside Telluride, CO, on Tuesday told San Miguel County Sheriff deputies that “my helmet saved my life.” He also expressed his gratitude to rescuers and all involved in the mission. He was released yesterday afternoon from Montrose Memorial Hospital.
The New Mexico man, and his friend, were skiing the north face of 14,023-foot Wilson Peak from the summit when he fell near the top and could not arrest his fall. He finally came to a stop in the apron, out of sight of his partner.
Deputies with San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office were called around 1 pm. It was determined that Search and Rescue with air resources were needed. The man was safely flown to Telluride airport just after 4 pm, where he was transferred to an awaiting ambulance and taken to the Telluride Medical Center with multiple traumatic injuries believed to be non-life-threatening. His friend was also brought to the airport and was uninjured.
The mission involved a dozen rescuers and took a total of approximately five hours.
Wilson Peak is a 14,023-foot mountain peak located in the Lizard Head Wilderness of the Uncompahgre National Forest in the northwestern San Juan Mountains. It is the highest point in San Miguel County.