Ski-parachutist rescued from near top of Quandary Peak on Sunday
Summit County, CO Colorado
SUMMIT COUNTY – The Summit County Rescue Group and other agencies spent about eight hours rescuing a man injured while “speed gliding” Sunday. According to a press release from Summit County Rescue, speed gliding is a popular sport in Europe that involves skiing with a foot-launched parachute which is smaller than a paragliding or sky diving chute, and which may lift the skier off the ground intermittently depending on the wind speed and direction. The sport is also called speed flying or ski gliding.
The Two men took off from the summit of Quandary, a 14,000 foot peak south of Breckenridge, on Sunday afternoon. Their intention, according to one of the men, was to ski down the East Ridge and then make either a sharp right or left hand turn and glide to the bottom. The first man launched his chute and glided successfully to the bottom on the south side of the mountain, but the second man reportedly “lost wind” and crashed near the top, injuring himself. According to one witness, he had compound fractures in both legs.
Five bystanders, who happened to be hiking Quandary that day and were not related to the injured man, stayed with him while he was waiting for emergency responders and even assisted rescuers with the beginning of the evacuation. The Summit County Rescue Group and the Summit County Sheriff’s Office would like to express their sincere gratitude to these five hikers, who aided and expedited the rescue effort significantly.
Flight for Life’s Lifeguard One helicopter, based in Denver, responded to the Summit County Rescue Group’s request for assistance and shuttled three rescuers and medical gear to a landing zone approximately 1,000 feet below the injured man. Vail Mountain Rescue and Alpine Rescue Team responded to mutual aid requests, and a total of 29 rescuers from the three teams were dispatched into the field, most climbing the peak via the popular East Ridge trail.
The patient was evacuated in a strenuous, eight-hour effort using a combination of hand-carrying, sliding in a toboggan and belayed lowering systems. The patient reached a waiting ambulance from the Summit County Ambulance Service at approximately 11:15 p.m.
According to the patient’s companion, he was an experienced speed gliding instructor with many hours of flight time.
The temperature was estimated at approximately -5 near the summit of the peak during the evacuation.
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