Chicago Man Rescued In the Rockies

Scott Sedlack, of Lindhurst, took a 900-foot tumbling, sliding fall

By Courtney O'Callaghan and Anthony Ponce
|  Friday, Jan 14, 2011  |  Updated 4:45 PM CDT
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Chicago Man Rescued In the Rockies

Rescue team with injured skiier at the Bear Lake Trailhead following his evacuation from the backcountry in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park rangers recued a Chicago man who took a 900-foot fall while cross-country skiing in the park's backcountry Wednesday.

Scott Sedlack, of Lindhurst, was participating in a ClimbingLife Guides ski outing on the 12,324-foot high Flattop Mountain on "The Drift," when he took a tumbling, sliding fall, said park spokeswoman Kyle Patterson.

The park rangers received a cell phone call reporting the fall from one of the skiers with Sedlack around 1 p.m., and reached the 55-year-old man around 3 p.m.

"He did have numerous serious injuries.  Injuries that you would expect that would occur on a 900-foot tumbling, sliding fall," said Patterson.

The rescue took place at about 10,600 feet above tree line with the help of 11 park staff, two of which were medics in extremely cold temperatures, high winds and white out conditions.

Sedlack was transported to the Bear Lake Trailhead by 6:30 p.m., where he was taken by ambulance to Estes Park Medical Center and then flown to Medical Center of the Rockies for treatment.

Since the area is remote terrain with no lifts, falls of this magnitude occasionally happen, but are rare, according to Patterson.

"We're still investigating what transpired to cause that fall and to cause that length of a fall," he said.  "We have a lot of questions yet."
 

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