OURAY COUNTY – The Ouray Mountain Rescue Team helped an injured equestrienne return to safety in an hours-long rescue operation on Thursday, July 17.
As OMRT Captain Tim Pasek recounted, the initial page went out at 2:15 p.m., reporting a female in her 50s who was injured while horseback riding with two friends on the Lou Creek Trail, about five miles north of Owl Creek Pass on Cimarron Ridge off of County Road 8.
The riders were on a steep section of trail approaching Lou Creek Pass when one of the horses started sliding backwards, tripped and landed on its rider, causing debilitating injuries to the rider’s pelvic region.
Luckily, the accident happened in an area with cell phone coverage, and the injured woman’s friends were able to alert emergency personnel, even giving a GPS position of their location.
A team of nine OMRT members reached the injured woman by about 5:10 p.m. “We don’t know the extent of the injuries, but she was in pain, and couldn’t move,” Pasek said.
They secured her in a litter on top of a trail wheel (a mountain bike wheel that clamps onto the bottom of the rescue litter), and transported her 3.5 miles along the trail, reaching County Road 8, where an ambulance waited, just before 9 p.m.
The injured woman was an experienced rider who was very familiar with the area where the accident happened. She remained conscious and alert throughout the course of the rescue operation.
The entire response took about four hours, with OMRT team members taking turns of about five minutes apiece maneuvering the litter along the trail. “It was a long rescue, time wise,” Pasek said. “Everyone was hungry and thirsty; it was a warm day, and a sweaty endeavor.”
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