CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - A 65-year-old Colorado man was rescued near the summit of La Plata Peak after becoming stranded in a steep snowfield Monday.
Hikers called the Chaffee County emergency dispatch after hearing cries for help. A search and rescue team was immediately deployed.
"Searchers scoured the area until just before nightfall when they noticed a light flashing below the summit," the Chaffee County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.
The ground team was unable to get close enough to the light due to the extremely steep terrain, and Flight For Life was called to assist with spotting the hiker's exact location. After finding him, a second aircraft was called to drop in a member of the search and rescue team, who is also a paramedic.
"After being dropped near the summit the search and rescue member was able to get to the victim at approximately 0300 hours," the sheriff's office said. "By this time, arrangements were being made through the Search and Rescue Board of Colorado for air assistance to lift the victim from the treacherous location. The Air National Guard, High Altitude Training Center, Gypsum, Colorado, was contacted and arrangements were made to have a helicopter hoist the victim from the location as early as possible."
Four and a half hours after the paramedic reached him, the hiker was lifted off the mountain and transported to a waiting Flight For Life helicopter at Twin Lakes. He was airlifted to a hospital from there.
The hiker has been identified as Jeffery Ashby.