Man rescued after sledding accident
Search and rescuers snowshoed into the backcountry at Echo Summit on Monday looking for a man injured in a sledding accident.
Christian Ridenour, 40, of Antioch, Calif., sledded into a tree sometime before noon fracturing several bones in his face.
Nurses from a medical helicopter that landed at the north end of Upper Echo Lake at 1 p.m. reached Ridenhour before the rescuers did. Unsure if they could secure the services of a helicopter, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Unit had sent two teams into the backcountry to hike more than 4 miles to get to the man.
El Dorado County sheriff’s Deputy Mike Sukau, coordinator of the search and rescue mission, said they had to snowshoe because the unit’s snowmobile burned out a belt during a search and rescue mission at Heavenly last week.
The nurses, along with several hikers, found Ridenour about a half-mile north of Upper Echo Lake near an entrance to Desolation Wilderness that leads to Haypress Meadows.
“To me it’s a very bizarre place to sled,” Sukau said. “I’m not sure how they got there — if they had a boat or what, I don’t know.”
Sukua said he went to Barton Memorial Hospital to see Ridenour at 4 p.m. but he was still too groggy to be interviewed.
“His eye was the size of golf ball, all black and blue. He had lacerations from his forehead to his cheek and multiple facial fractures,” Sukau said.
By Tuesday morning, Ridenour had been treated and released from Barton, possibly to go to another hospital for reconstructive surgery.