Four-hour Vail rescue removes suicidal woman from backcountry cliff
Emergency crews from five agencies worked together Monday to pull a suicidal woman off an 80-foot ledge a mile and a half above Vail on Red Sandstone Road.
“I’m thankful that this incident had a safe resolution as our crews were facing a number of hazards which included cold temperatures, steep icy slopes and falling rock,” Vail Fire Chief Mark Novak said in a statement.
Anyone experiencing depression or suicidal thoughts is encouraged to call Speak Up, Reach Out at 1-800-273-8255.
According to information from the town of Vail, crews were called out at 12:45 p.m. Monday, when they received a report about a suicidal woman trapped on an 80-foot cliff a mile and a half above Vail on Red Sandstone Road, also called Piney Road.
The cliff was across the canyon from Red Sandstone Road. Once the patient was located, crews had to descend 400 feet to the bottom of the canyon, cross Red Sandstone Creek and then climb several hundred feet to make voice contact with the victim. Eagle County Sheriff’s deputies were able to talk to the victim from a distance and convinced her to move away from the ledge.
A member of Vail Mountain Rescue climbed above the woman and then rappelled down the cliff face to her. Once the victim was off the ledge, crews from the Vail Fire Department and Vail Mountain Rescue used a rope system to lower the patient to the bottom of the canyon.
Crews helped the woman climb out of the canyon.
Support Local Journalism
Because access was difficult and the climb was technical, the rescue took four hours. There have been 10 suicides in Eagle County this year, according to coroner Kara Bettis, following 17 in 2018.
Crews from the Vail Police Department, the Vail Public Safety Communication Center and Eagle County Paramedic Services also assisted.
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Grand County make the Sky-Hi News' work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User