Nelson Search and Rescue responded to an injured man at the end of Wild Horse Creek near Mt. Baldy Wednesday.
The man, who is one of the owners of the Ymir Yurts, was out with a friend clearing trees on a cat trail for their ski operation when a tree fell on him.
“The initial report was of a hiker who’d been hit by a tree,” said Sam Ellison with Nelson Search and Rescue. “His buddy came out and called us. The area was very inaccessible so with a helicopter we did what they call a ‘heps rescue,’ which is a long line rescue.”
Ellison said the injury happened at 11 a.m. and that search and rescue reached the man by 5 p.m. The man was alone for nearly five hours.
“[The injured man and his friend] had hiked in because you can’t drive in on these cat roads they are just a jumbled mess of trees,” said Ellison. “So they hiked way into this remote location and when the accident happened they didn’t have any kind of communication equipment. The other fellow had to hike out and then drive out to Ymir where he could get to a phone.”
A total of 12 members of search and rescue responded to the injured man, including two helicopters.
“The initial helicopter went in and the team did whatk we call a ‘hover exit’ and then we hiked about 10 men up to where the subject was and stabilized him and got him into a stretcher,” he said. “Then our second team, which was our long line team, set up and went in with attendants and attached to the stretcher and took the fellow to a staging area and moved him inside the helicopter and took him straight to the hospital in Trail.”
Ellison said the man appeared to have a large hematoma on his back with a significant amount of swelling.
“I think the tree drove him into the ground and they suspected that he had a broken pelvis so he couldn’t walk,” he said.