A climber had to be rescued from Snowmass Peak on Tuesday after suffering a severe lower leg injury, according to the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.
Pitkin County dispatch received a call at around 2:30 pm from a climber who was injured roughly 1,500 feet above Snowmass Lake, according to a press release. The climber, later identified as 31-year-old Alexander Pancoe of Chicago, had reportedly suffered a leg injury while hiking and had been left cold and wet by thunderstorms and unable to move.
The climber said his injury was so severe that he was stuck in a position where he could no longer descend or ascend.
Around 20 members of Mountain Rescue Aspen mobilized to rescue the hiker. Additionally, a Blackhawk rescue helicopter from the High Altitude Army National Guard Training Site was called in from Gypsum. The team made contact with Pancoe at around 4:45 pm and the climber was airlifted off of the mountain. He was transported to Aspen Valley Hospital and treated for a lower leg injury.
Snowmass Mountain is a 14,092-foot summit located 10 miles west of Aspen in the Elk Mountains. Snowmass Peak is a class three climb and is considered difficult with exposures and loose rock. The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and Mountain Rescue Aspen “would like to remind backcountry enthusiasts to travel with partners and be prepared to self-rescue, as there is no guarantee of rescue.”