March 6, 2021

Injured climber / Smugglers Notch

Stowe Mountain Rescue was called the Notch to rescue a climber who had been hit in the head and knee with falling ice.  The climber was at the bottom of Elephant’s head gully racking up and had not commenced climbing when he was hit by ice dislodged by a climbing party above him.  Personnel from another climbing party with medical training secured the injured climber, provided food, extra clothing and applied a rudimentary splint.

 

Stowe Mountain Resort Ski Patrol provided snowmobile transport for a Mountain Rescue hasty team member who climbed up to the accident scene to assess subject’s injuries and develop an initial extraction plan.   Subject was confirmed not able to walk so SMR deployed a team of five with two ATVs, snowmobile, rescue boggan, medical equipment and rope rescue gear to the scene.   The litter team hauled litter, hypo bag, ropes and medical equipment up to the base of Elephants Head with a rope raising system.  Subject was packed in litter and then extricated back down the slope to Mountain Road via three rope-lower systems.  Subject was then transported to Cambridge Notch Gate where he was medically cleared to pursue medical treatment in personal vehicle with his climbing party.

Team Members Responding
Govoni, Wehse, Clymer, Westervelt, Millick, Choularton, Richards

Other Agencies Responding
Stowe Mountain Resort Ski Patrol, Cambridge FD, Cambridge Rescue Squad

Time of Call
10.59 – 15.00

Weather Conditions
Overcast, Calm,  20 deg F

February 20, 2021

Lost Skier / Mansfield

Stowe Mountain Rescue (SMR) was called out to search for a lost skier on the Mansfield side of Stowe Mountain Resort. The subject had been skiing with her father in the Toll Roads Woods, became separated while skiing the side country off the Toll Road below the Lookout Double chairlift. The lost skier called multiple times into Mansfield Ski Patrol, but poor cell reception and a low battery hampered a successful call to determine the subjects whereabouts. Initial discussion with subject’s father narrowed the search area. The search area was determined to be the large gully below the Toll Road that drains towards the Mansfield Touring Center.

Stowe Mountain Rescue, VT State Police and Mansfield Ski Patrol convened via conference call to discuss situation and develop a search plan. Two SMR team members rode the Lookout Double and began a confinement search along the Toll Road trail starting at the Lookout Double. A second team was assigned to search the middle section of the search area by departing the Toll Road just above the Chapel and following the earth counter toward the top of John’s Road (typical exit point for skiers in this area). A Third team was stationed at the touring center’s Bear Run Trail in case the skier exited the gully quickly before search teams located her. Two search teams on ATVs were also deployed in to the top of Mansfield Touring Center towards and up John’s Road .

The subject was discovered walking down Toll Road by Mansfield Ski Patrol at about 4:45pm. Apparently, she recognized that retracing her path by walking uphill was her best option. This was a very good decision and resulted in her safely self rescuing. The subject was then transported to a very relieved family member without further incident.

Team Members Responding
Govoni, Wehse, Van Dyke, Clymer, Westervelt, Speer, Millick, Choularton,  Rogers, Raybould, Richards

Other Agencies Responding
Stowe Mountain Resort Ski Patrol, VSP – car 96

Time of Call
15.00 – 18.00

Weather Conditions
Overcast, Calm,  25 deg F

February 19, 2021

Injured Snowmobiler / Cottonbrook

Stowe Mountain Rescue was called out to the CottonBrook Recreation area to support extraction of an injured snowmobiler. SMR sent a team of 5 via ATV and Snowmobile to the accident scene, which was located about 2 miles from the main parking area on the side trail that parallels the main CottonBrook road.

Upon arrival, Stowe EMS has already prepped the patient for extraction. SMR quickly packaged the injured patient in the litter and then transported back to waiting ambulance at the Parking Lot.

Team Members Responding
Govoni, Wehse, Westervelt, Speer, Burke, Choularton,  Raybould, Richards

Other Agencies Responding
Stowe EMS, VSP

Time of Call
18.00 – 19.30

Weather Conditions
Overcast, Calm,  26 deg F

February 14, 2021

Stranded Skier or Snowboarder / Smugglers Notch

Stowe Mountain Rescue was dispatched to Smugglers Notch recreation area based on a bystander report of a stranded skier/snowboarder. The bystander walking on Route 108 noticed a person who appeared to be stuck on a precipice over an ice field. After the person did not move for about 10 minutes, the bystander waved. The subject returned the wave. Fearing the person needed assistance, the bystander called 911.

SMR deployed a team of 7 into the Notch to locate and rescue the subject. Upon arrival, the SMR team met the Cambridge Fire/Rescue team who had been looking for the subject for 15 minutes. Both teams continued searching from the road, looking for a subject in distress with no luck. Skiers coming off the piste were questioned to assess whether they had seen/heard any calls for help or bumped into anyone seeking assistance. One pair of snowboarders did indicate they had seen a skier being lowered down an ice pitch but did not have first-hand knowledge of the situation.

SMR deployed a team of 3 up one of the gullies in an attempt to locate the subject near original reported position. The Team discovered a pair of ice climbers on skis who had been climbing in the general vicinity of the initial report; these climbers had been skiing above an ice pitch in a high gulley but did not assist anyone.

The Rescue Team continued to search the cliff area and found no other climbers or signals of distress. The Rescue team staged on the Notch Road continued observation/interviews with no compelling signs/reports of a distressed skier. SMR, based upon its searches, field evidence, the fact that no one had called 911 for assistance and interviews with persons in the Notch determined that the mission was a false alarm and closed out the mission.

Team Members Responding
Govoni, Westervelt, Speer, Ruschp, Burke, Wehse, Warren, Clymer,  Richards

Other Agencies Responding
Cambridge Fire and Rescue

Time of Call
13.45 – 17.15

Weather Conditions
Overcast, Calm,  15 deg F

February 14, 2021

Stranded Skier / Smugglers Notch

Lamoille County Dispatch toned Stowe Mountain Rescue. Apparently, a Stowe Mountain Resort guest called 911 after becoming disoriented while skiing an off-piste section of the Notch. The lone skier was skiing the Spruce Peak area of Stowe Mountain Resort and found his way down the out-of-bounds terrain called Tusk. He became unsure of his location after skiing for a while in unfamiliar terrain. Upon conferring with his father via phone, the subject called 911 for help. Stowe Mountain Rescue dispatched 3 rescue technicians from the first call to an area near the skier based on GPS coordinates picked up from the 911 call. Voice contact was made instantly and after a bit of coaching, the skier was able to self evacuate by skiing down the last bit of steep terrain without assistance.

Team Members Responding
Govoni, Westervelt, Speer, Ruschp, Burke, Wehse, Warren, Clymer,  Richards

Other Agencies Responding
Cambridge Fire and Rescue

Time of Call
1500 – 1600

Weather Conditions
Overcast, Calm,  15 deg F

January 29, 2021

Stranded Skier / Birthday Bowls – Smugglers Notch

Stowe Mountain Rescue rescued a 25 year old female skier from the Birthday Bowl area in Smugglers Notch on Friday. At around 1820 SMR was informed that there was a lost skier somewhere on Spruce Peak. The subject called 911 when she got stuck on the top of a cliff and realized that she was lost. It was determined, from the subject’s cell phone coordinates that she was approximately 300 vertical feet above the VT 108 in the Notch near the “Workout Wall” ice climbing area and near the “Birthday Bowls”. SMR staged at Barnes Camp and deployed the Team into the Notch. Four team members climbed up to the subject and she was lowered and short roped down to the road. She was then evacuated to Barnes Camp.

Team Members Responding
Govoni, Westervelt, Speer, McLean, Wehse, Clymer, Millick,  Rogers, Choularton, Reybould, Richards

Other Agencies Responding
VT State Police / Car 96

Time of Call
130 – 1930

Weather Conditions
Overcast, Calm,  0 deg F

January 23, 2021

Lost Snowboarders / Stowe Mountain Resort – Ranch Valley

Stowe Mountain Rescue rescued three lost snowboarders on Saturday night.  At around 1700 hours, Vermont State Police contacted SMR regarding three teenagers.  Stowe Ski Patrol indicated that they had boarded out of bounds from the Toll Road.  SMR determined by their cell phone location that they were approximately 60 vertical feet from the intersection of John’s Road and Easy Out at the Mount Mansfield Touring Center.  Cell phone contact with the subjects indicated that they had no light source, map compass or other means of navigation. SMR staged at the Touring Center and deployed personnel on ATVs and Snowmachines toward the location of the lost boarders.  Upon arriving at the intersection, two members navigated by snowshoes towards the cell phone coordinates.  Shortly thereafter, voice contact was made and then physical contact was made with the lost subjects.  They were uninjured but cold.   They were provided water, food and extra clothing and then were evacuated to the Touring Center and united with their families.

Team Members Responding
Govoni, Westervelt, Speer, Clymer, Millick,  Rogers, Richards

Other Agencies Responding
None.

Time of Call
1700 – 1930

Weather Conditions
Overcast, Calm, Scattered Snow showers, 10 deg F

January 10, 2021

Lost Hikers / Mount Mansfield

Stowe Mountain Rescue was called to assist a party of 4 hikers up on Mt. Mansfield.   The initial report indicated that three subjects were unsure of their current location and their 4th member’s location was unknown as they had not had contact with him for many hours.

The party of four had parked in the Barnes Camp Parking Lot with intent to hike up Hellbrook trail to the Mansfield Chin and return via the Long Trail.  One member of the team hiked aggressively and soon outpaced the other three.   At around 5:40 PM, the party of three called 911 for support, as they had not reached the summit (Chin), were unsure of their location, were cold and wet, and more importantly had not had contact with the 4th member of the team in quite some time.

SMR responded with a team of 8 with an initial plan to locate the 3 hikers based on an initial Lat/Long coordinates and develop a search plan for the 4th member of the party.   SMR Staged at Midway Lodge and received a ride up to the top of the Gondola via a ‘bus’ snowcat provided by Stowe-Vail, Inc.   Prior to departure up to the top of the Gondola, the 4th member of the team was located at the bottom of Stowe; he had hiked back down safely without conversing with his hiking party.

SMR’s plan to retrieve the party of three was to take the bootpack up from the Gondola station then traverse below the Chin via ‘High Traverse’ trail to the junction of High Traverse, HellBrook and Long Trail   The High Traverse  proved slow going, as SMR had to break trail through deep snow and heavy underbrush (typical use is in mid winter where the snowpack covers much of the low shrubbery).   SMR team decided to alter course and head down Profanity to the intersection of LongTrail, and gave the lost subjects instructions to take the Long Trail South towards the Taft Lodge where parties would meet.  Upon reaching Long Trail, SMR located the subjects immediately, assessed condition and proceeded down Long Trail to exit on Cliff Trail and an awaiting BusCat for a ride to the bottom.    Subjects were reunited with their 4th member by about 9:30 PM.

Team Members Responding
Wehse, Westervelt, Clymer, Millick, Rogers, Richards, Chegwidden

Other Agencies Responding
None.

Time of Call
1800 – 2130

Weather Conditions
Overcast, Calm, 10 deg F