Hiker Pinned by Falling 1.5K-Pound Boulder

It took hours, but she was freed and is expected to survive
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2017 7:45 PM CDT
Hiker Pinned by Falling 1.5K-Pound Boulder
A picture from the rescue.   (West Metro Fire)

It took hours, but a 30-year-old female hiker was rescued Wednesday afternoon after being hit and pinned by a 1,500-pound rock at North Table Mountain Park in Golden, Colo. The woman and a male companion were hiking to an area where they were going to mountain climb when the man heard "a large crack," a spokesperson for the Golden Fire Department tells the Denver Post. He looked up and saw the boulder start to fall from 30 feet above; "it just barely missed him," the spokesperson says. The rock, which was about 5 feet by 4 feet, per the Golden Transcript, was moving too fast for the woman to get out of the way, struck her, and pinned her legs underneath it.

About 10 emergency agencies were involved in the rescue; rescue crews and ATVs had to hike a hydraulic system and airbags to the woman, who was about an hour from the trailhead. It took more than two hours to free her, and then rescuers carried her 45 minutes to a helicopter at the top of the mountain that took her to the hospital. Though she was critically injured—she had multiple fractures and was unconscious during the rescue—the fire department says her vital signs were "fairly good." As the Post explains, rockslides are a fairly typical occurrence during the temperature changes involved in the freeze-thaw cycle in the spring. The woman, a European who was in Colorado for a conference, is expected to survive, per the Denver Channel. (Read more rescue stories.)

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