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Big Sky rescuers have busy Friday with injured hiker, lost camper

Posted at 10:25 AM, Jul 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-21 12:25:07-04

BIG SKY – Rescuers in Gallatin County had a busy Friday, responding first to a woman who dislocated her hip while hiking, then later a man who was separated from his camping group for several hours.

According to a Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office press release, around 11:20 a.m. on Friday morning Gallatin County 911 received a report of an injured hiker on Cinnamon Creek Trail south of Big Sky.

The caller reported his wife found a 27-year-old woman two miles up the trail, unconscious with an injured leg.  Sheriff’s Search and Rescue at Big Sky and the Big Sky Fire Department were dispatched. A REACH medical helicopter and the Sheriff’s Heli Rescue team were also launched. 

Rescuers on foot and ATV located the woman at 1:34 p.m.  She had recovered somewhat and was alert and oriented when they arrived.  The responding helicopters were canceled because her condition had improved.

The woman was carrying a forty-pound pack and when a fox ran out in front of her, she pivoted and dislocated her hip.  A Big Sky Fire Paramedic who is also a Search and Rescue member assessed the injured hiker and administered medication.  She was packaged on a one wheeled rescue litter and transported back to the Cinnamon Creek Trail head to a waiting Big Sky Fire Ambulance.  She was taken to the Big Sky Medical Center.

Later Friday night at 10:30 p.m., Sheriff’s Search and Rescue at Big Sky and a deputy responded to a search at Portal Creek.  A 26-year-old male was 5 hours overdue after becoming separated from the rest of his party following an overnight camping trip.  His experience level and the terrain indicated the need for a search.  He was located by ground rescuers shortly after 1 a.m.  He did not need medical attention but was given water.

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin made the following statement in the press release:

“Nature is a funny thing.  Even the most prepared and expert hikers can’t predict getting startled by a fox, twisting wrong and blowing out a hip.  That is an injury that you need help to get out with.  Get out, be healthy and responsibly enjoy great mountain living.  When you do make sure you have the gear and communication that allows us to help you when nature does her thing.  Enjoy the back country with other people when possible, stay together when hiking and carry a means of communication with you.”