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Skier has serious, not life-threatening injuries following 2,000-foot fall on 14er in San Miguel County

Mount Wilson rescue_april 20 2021.jpg
Posted at 5:56 AM, Apr 21, 2021

SAN MIGUEL COUNTY, Colo. — A skier survived a 2,000-foot fall near the summit of Wilson Peak, a 14,017-foot mountain in San Miguel County, on Tuesday and was brought to a hospital with serious, but not life-threatening injuries.

On Tuesday afternoon just before 1 p.m., deputies with the San Miguel County Sheriff's Office learned that a 37-year-old skier from New Mexico had been injured on Wilson Peak, a 14er in the Lizard Head Wilderness west of Telluride.

Authorities said they learned that the man and his friend had been skiing the mountain's north face from the summit when the man fell near the top and tumbled about 2,000 vertical feet. He landed in the chute's apron — the wide area directly beneath the chute — out of sight of his friend.

The sheriff's office determined a search and rescue team was needed and the man was ultimately found and flown to the Telluride airport just after 4 p.m., the sheriff's office said. His friend was also flown out. The injured man was then transferred to an ambulance and brought to the Telluride Medical Center. He had multiple traumatic injuries, but none appeared life-threatening, the sheriff's office said.

About a dozen rescuers helped the pair, the sheriff's office said.

The mission lasted about five hours.

According to the sheriff's office, the skier said, "My helmet saved my life." He also expressed his gratitude to the rescuers.

He was released from Montrose Memorial Hospital on Wednesday.