SALT LAKE CITY — A backcountry skier who broke her leg Saturday in the Powder Park area between Big Cottonwood Canyon and Park City was airlifted out of the area and transported by ambulance to a local hospital.
Unified Police Department Lt. Brian Lohrke said an emergency call came in about noon Saturday reporting a 24-year-old woman had injured herself and was not able to ski out of the area, about a mile from the nearest road. Lohrke said her location was pinpointed using GPS information based on the 911 call. Salt Lake County Search and Rescue was able to enlist the help of an Intermountain Life Flight helicopter to extract the woman.
Lohrke said the flight crew was able to hoist the victim out and bring her to a ground ambulance without incident, but he noted it could have been a much bigger endeavor.
"Without (the helicopter) we would have had to put our rescuers on snowmobiles through some treacherous terrain just to get to her," Lohrke said. "We were able to load her up and fly her out … in about 20 minutes."
The woman, who Lohrke said was skiing in a party of six people and was dressed appropriately for conditions, had suffered a lower leg break.Comment on this story
Lohrke said it was the first 2018 callout for the county's search and rescue team, and offered a reminder about staying safe when enjoying backcountry activities.
"We're putting that message out there that, again we don’t want anyone to not call us for help," Lohrke said. "But, we want people to be careful when they’re backcounry skiing, when they’re doing anything off the trail, off the beaten path. Make sure to be with other people, carry communication devices and tell people where you’re going."
Lohrke said Salt Lake County Search and Rescue had 85 callouts in 2017.