(Gallatin County, Mont.) At 3:15 pm yesterday, the Fremont County (ID) Sheriff’s Office dispatch received a 911 call for 67-year-old man from Montana who had fallen while crosscountry skiing. Fremont County passed the information on to Gallatin County due to the location of the injured party. The man was skiing on the South Plateau trail approximately 7 miles southwest of West Yellowstone and suffered a severe upper leg injury. At the same time, a 60-year-old woman from Idaho had fallen in a separate incident and injured her hip. Both skiers were part of the 3000+ skiers who are attending the annual West Yellowstone Fall Ski Camp event this weekend. The event was moved from the usual Rendezvous trails to the South Plateau in order to find snow and conditions are fast and icy.
Personnel from the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue in West Yellowstone, Hebgen Basin Fire Department, and Yellowstone National Park responded and met the injured parties near the scene of the accident. The skiers had been moved from the crash scene to a nearby parking lot by volunteers working the ski camp. The injured skiers were initially treated on scene by Hebgen Basin EMS personnel. The woman was then transported to Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg using an ambulance and crew from Yellowstone National Park. The man, with a possible femur fracture, was transported down the mountain and turned over to Air Methods EMS personnel for air transport to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.
Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin would like to thank all of the rescue organizations that came together to execute a successful backcountry rescue of these two individuals. Race organizers with good communication devices and basic medical equipment were also a big part of this rescue.