National Guard Chopper Rescues Denver Hiker

Man Develops Altitude Sickness In Holy Cross Wilderness Area

A Colorado Army National Guard helicopter rescued a hiker in distress in the Holy Cross Wilderness Area southwest of Minturn.

The rescue operation began shortly before 8:30 a.m.. That is when one of the hikers in a group called 911 to report that their 27-year-old friend was suffering from altitude sickness near Half Moon Pass and was in need of medical attention.

Vail Mountain Rescue Group sent a search team into the field on foot at the Half Moon Trailhead.

The UH-60 Black Hawk was launched from the High Altitude Army National Guard Aviation Training Site at the Eagle County Airport to drop search teams into the field at the top of Half Moon Pass.

Rescuers made contact with the hikers shortly before noon, 800 vertical feet down from the top of Half Moon Pass. A paramedic from the Eagle County Ambulance District treated the man and walked him back to the top of Half Moon Pass. He was airlifted off the trail at 2:40 p.m. by the Black Hawk helicopter.

The man's identity was not released but the sheriff's office said he was from the Denver area.

Rescuers from the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, Vail Mountain Rescue Group, Eagle River Fire Protection District, Eastern Eagle County Ambulance District, and the Colorado National Guard participated in the operation.

Altitude sickness, or acute mountain sickness, can be fatal, if not treated.

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