A 39-year-old man who fell 40 feet while climbing in the Weminuche Wilderness north of Durango on Tuesday has been taken to a hospital in Grand Junction.
A search and rescue mission started around 9 a.m. for the injured man, who was climbing with friends near Snowdon Peak, a 13,077-foot mountain popular with hikers and climbers.
The group of local residents was climbing a technical route on the West Buttress when the man slipped and fell, said Jim Donovan, director of San Juan County Search and Rescue.
Six search and rescue personnel were flown to the spot of the injury, where they were able to use a rope system to get the man aboard the Flight for Life helicopter. The six rescuers then hiked about an hour to the Andrews Lake trailhead.
The man, whose identity has not been released, was taken to a Grand Junction hospital with a serious lower back injury.
Donovan was hesitant to call the man’s condition non-life threatening because with a back injury, “even a small shift could snap his spinal cord.”
Donovan said the mission ended around 4:30 p.m. and involved about 20 first responders from San Juan County Search and Rescue, San Juan County’s Sherrif’s Office, La Plata County Sheriff’s Office and La Plata County Search and Rescue.
Previous information from the scene mistakenly identified the injured person as female.