A rescue mission was called off Thursday after a snowboarder injured in the backcountry near Molas Pass refused care.
Jim Donovan, director of San Juan County’s Office of Emergency Management, said a call came in around 10 a.m. that a snowboarder broke his leg while trekking up Snowden Peak.
Emergency responders in San Juan and La Plata counties responded, and a Flight For Life helicopter was called.
It appeared the man was injured by a rockfall while hiking with a group to Snowden Peak, Donovan said.
However, he refused treatment, Donovan said, and his injuries weren’t as serious as first reported.
“People can do that,” he said. “The patient declined transport and walked out on his own.”
Donovan said the deep snowpack this spring has attracted more people to the backcountry, and the risk of avalanche persists.
“With the spring transition, people need to be conscious of still checking avalanche forecasts,” Donovan said, “and be careful about snow being too firm and sliding downhill. And also rockfall above.”