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Powell ice climber evacuated from South Fork

UPDATED 2:45 p.m.: Park County Search and Rescue members and a medical helicopter team have evacuated a Powell ice climber who broke both ankles in a fall on the South Fork.

The Park County Sheriff's Office says Kenneth Richmond, 54, fell 15 to 20 feet off a popular ice flow on Wednesday at an area near the end of the South Fork Highway. Richmond spent the night at the base of the "High on Boulder" ice flow before being reported as overdue Thursday morning and found by fellow ice climbers, said Sheriff's Office spokesman Lance Mathess.

The climbers found Richmond around 8:30 a.m. Thursday and were joined by Search and Rescue members around 9 a.m. The Search and Rescue responders immediately began work to evacuate Richmond, Mathess said. A helicopter from Air Idaho in Idaho Falls was dispatched and took Richmond to West Park Hospital at 1 p.m.

Richmond was reportedly climbing alone on the ice flow when he fell. Mathess described it as an extremely rugged area in a very narrow canyon with numerous steep sheer ice flows.

Richmond's wife had reported him as overdue early Thursday morning, Mathess said.

Park County Sheriff Scott Steward praised the Search and Rescue volunteers for their efforts.

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3 comments

  • posted by tiana k

    May 07, 2013 1:35 pm

    i think its amazing they found him.. if it was not for the other climbers he would still be out there. i dont personally believe it matters how old you are things happen an many people go about doing crazy things in life knowing the unknown could happen.. even if you are trained or experienced it could have still happened with another person there. i say thank god for those lucky angels who watched out for him because you may need them one day just like he DID

  • posted by Mrs. R

    May 05, 2013 9:00 pm

    He fell 40-50 feet. He broke both legs and had a compound fracture to his right ankel. He did sit ups to keep warm that night. His wife reported him missing at 2AM after making several calls to friends and the hospitals. Happy to be alive he is on the mend.

  • posted by Linda F.

    May 02, 2013 4:18 pm

    If he's 54 yrs. old, he should have known better than to climb alone. When I read the headline, I thought it was a VERY MUCH younger man.

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