Workers successfully rescued a 47-year-old man who was injured Monday while hiking in the Weminuche Wilderness.
A Mesa Verde National Park Service Helitack crew transported the man a short distance to a waiting Flight for Life helicopter that took him to Mercy Regional Medical Center.
Rescuers were able to extract the man at 12:40 p.m. Tuesday. About 11 people were involved in the rescue.
The initial people to reach the hiker were from San Juan County Search and Rescue, who started hiking Monday night from Hunchback Pass.
The hiker apparently slipped and fell into a creek and possibly suffered a dislocated shoulder, said Ron Corkish with La Plata County Search and Rescue.
The man fell into the creek Monday night and had to spend the night in the wilderness. Rescuers began their efforts about 7:41 p.m. Monday. The man hiked about 10 miles into the wilderness in the Roelle Creek drainage near the north end of Vallecito Creek.
“They’ve got fresh rain, there’s mud, it’s slick and it’s pitch-dark, so you just have to take your time so you don’t injure a rescuer,” Corkish said.
San Juan County Search and Rescue assisted in the rescue.
The initial call came from the hiker’s SPOT device, which uses satellite and GPS to send an emergency notification to a dispatch center, Corkish said.
Flight for Life was not immediately available Monday because it was on another mission, Corkish said.
He declined to release the hiker’s name.