Colorado officials reported Wednesday afternoon that a female hiker, 30, was rescued after being trapped by a 1,500-pound boulder in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. It took rescue workers over two hours to free the woman, who was trapped on North Table Mountain, near the town of Golden in Jefferson County.
ABC News reported that, according to West Metro Fire Rescue, she was unconscious when firefighters finally were able to pull the boulder off of her. The Golden, Colorado Fire Department stated that the hiker sustained multiple leg fractures and, when she was found, was in critical condition. First responders worked quickly to free and stabilize her.
A hydraulic spreader, was used, along with airbags, to move the boulder. Rescue crews hiked up to where the trapped woman was and they used an ATV to bring up the pieces of the hydraulic spreader, which they then assembled.
When the boulder was finally removed from the trapped hiker, officials from the Golden, Colorado Fire Department said that the woman’s vital signs were good. According to KTSA, exactly how the hiker became trapped underneath the boulder has not yet been mentioned by authorities involved in the rescue.
Several agencies were involved in rescuing the woman. According to The Denver Post, about 10 emergency agencies worked to rescue the trapped hiker. She was carried by about a dozen first responders for approximately 45 minutes up the ridge of the mountain she had been hiking on, using a high angle rope system. The hiker was then flown to a hospital via a Flight for Life helicopter.
The hiker was critically injured when the 1,500-pound boulder struck her and pinned her legs underneath it at the popular North Table Mountain Park. Karlyn Tilley, a Golden fire spokeswoman, said the woman, along with a man, were hiking to a specific area of the park popular for climbers. They had planned to climb the mountain from this point when the boulder fell. Tilley stated that the man said he heard loud crack, which caused him to look up just in time to see the boulder release. She said that the boulder just barely missed him, but landed on the woman.
Tilley said the hiking trail the pair were on was very popular trail. Nobody else was injured by the boulder. Rescue crews were dispatched at around 12:30 p.m. and at approximately 2:45 p.m., authorities reported she had been freed.
Before the rescue crews were able to hike to where the trapped hiker was on North Table Mountain in Colorado, Tilley said that there were two paramedics in the area from Littleton who were able to start rendering aid to her immediately. At this time, the hikers have not been identified and the woman’s condition has not been updated.
By John Samuels
Photo Courtesy West Metro Fire Rescue