Missoula Rural Fire District crews retrieved a mountain biker with a "significant" leg injury sustained in the Dry Gulch area west of Missoula on Sunday evening.
MRFD Assistant Chief of Operations Paul Finlay said despite the serious leg injury and some "bike-crash road rash," the man's reported injuries were not considered life-threatening and the biker is expected to make a full recovery.
Crews were dispatched to the area near the Deep Creek Drainage around 8 p.m. on Sunday, along with Missoula Emergency Services. The incident's location precluded MRFD from taking their rescue UTV up the trail, so they instead hauled up a litter wheel, which Finlay described as basically a low-pressure motorcycle tire attached to a gurney that takes the weight off responders.
Including a quarter-mile hike up to the biker's location, beginning treatment, strapping him up and rolling him down to a ready-and-waiting ambulance took crews about an hour, Finlay said.
The man had been biking with two friends; one stayed with the injured man while the other went for help and guided responders to the area.
Finlay said the injuries could have been much more severe.
"A lot of that is attributable to having a helmet on," he said. "Helmets make a lot of difference in a situation like this, and for this gentleman that's the case."