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Search and Rescue: “People Need to Use Their Friggin Heads”

A Colorado skier was in the backcountry when he was caught in an avalanche and needed a rescue. People should not be going into the backcountry during the coronavirus outbreak

Despite pleas for people to stay home and not use the backcountry, Colorado search and rescue volunteers had to respond to a distress call yesterday. Parks around North America are closing, including Parks Canada and many provincial Parks, but people will likely still try to get into the mountains despite orders not to.

That’s what happened in Colorado when a snowboarder was injured in an avalanche in the East Waterfall Canyon area of Ophir. Nearly 40 search and rescue volunteers had to head out for the rescue.

There were many skiers and snowboarders in the area, the sheriff’s office said. The slide, which was likely triggered by humans, was about 50 metres across and slid 500 metres. The man, who lives locally and is in his 30s, was seriously injured. He was transported down the mountain by helicopter and was then taken to a local hospital.

Sheriff Bill Masters wants to remind people of the dangers of the backcountry “especially in light of COVID-19 when our local resources are stretched and incidents like this stretch them even more. People need to use their friggin heads.”