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Behind The Scenes Of Maroon Bells Rescue

ASPEN, Colo. (CBS4)– A climber was rescued off the North Peak of Maroon Bells last week and Mountain Rescue Aspen recorded the entire risky rescue.

The rescue happened just below the summit of the North Peak of Maroon Bells where a helicopter was hovering at 14,000 feet.

Flying at that altitude in a Black Hawk helicopter can be risky, especially if the copter must hover at a height of more than two-and-a-half miles in the sky during the rescue.

The climber had fallen about 50 feet from the summit and suffered a broken jaw. He is expected to make a full recovery.

“The actual operation itself is not uncommon,” said Mountain Rescue Aspen President Hugh Zuker.

Mountain Rescue Aspen is made up of all volunteers.

“We have ski patrollers, mountain guides, paramedics, medics,” said Zuker.

The team has completed more than 30 rescues since spring and more than half of those in the summer months.

Zuker said although in the video everything looks calm, a rescue that that must be precisely planned.

“The calculation is really about the weather, the conditions in the mountains, the nature of the injuries that you know,” said Zuker.

He also said using the helicopter brings a whole new set of skills into play.

“It’s not like you’re stepping off a stair, you’re stepping off of something that inherently wants to move,” said Zuker.

Zuker warns any trip into the back country should be taken seriously and no one should embark on such an adventure without proper gear and preparation.

“Always let someone know what your routes are going to be, where you’re going to go,” said Zuker.

The rescue group also joined forces with Rocky Mountains Search and Rescue to help victims in recent flooding across Northern Colorado.

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