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Oct 11, 2020

Injured Hiker (Mt. Mansfield/Sunset Ridge Trail)

Mutual aid was requested by UJFD for a patient on the Sunset Ridge Trail in Underhill.  Subject had a leg injury and was located at 3,560′ (~700′ in elevation below the Mansfield Ridge and ~1,200′ above the CC Road in Underhill State Park).

UJFD established Incident Command and a Staging Area on the CC Road in Underhill State Park.  SMR (6 team members) was requested to bring all required extrication and medical equipment.  SMR used the Toll Road and Long Trail north to access the Sunset Ridge Trail.  Personnel from UJFD (8), Camel’s Hump Back-country Rescue (2) and Colchester Technical Rescue (4) accessed the patient from Underhill State Park.

A hasty team of two from UJFD reached the patient first, provided some insulation, evaluated the patient’s injury and established a field command structure.  Upon SMR arrival, additional insulation was provided, the injury was immobilized and she was packaged in a litter with a vacuum mattress.  She was evacuated down the Sunset Ridge Trail to Underhill State Park, requiring multiple lowering systems.  She refused ambulance transportation to the hospital and elected for her family to take her in their personal vehicle.

 

Team Members Responding
Veliko, Wehse, Millick, Choularton, Clymer, Richards

Other Agencies Responding
Underhill / Jericho Fire Dept

Colchester Technical Rescue

Camel’s Hump BackCountry Rescue

Time of Event
1315 – 2115

Weather Conditions
Clear, Calm / 30-40 deg F

 

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October 4, 2020

Injured Hiker (Mt Mansfield / Long Trail)

A party of four was descending a steep, rocky and wet section of the Long Trail below Taft Lodge on Mount Mansfield, when a member of the party slipped twisting her leg.  She was unable to bear weight on the injury and the party called 911 for assistance.

The e911 coordinates indicated they were on the LT ~ 0.3 miles below Taft Lodge. This is very close to the intersection of Last Exit and Chin Clip which is accessible by ATV.  A phone interview with the party indicated they were well dressed and comfortable, but a member of the party was unable to walk.

SMR staged at Midway Base, used the work road to access Last Exit and Chin Clip.  The party was located a short hike (<0.2 miles) south on the LT.  The patient was evaluated, her injury immobilized and packaged in a vacuum mattress, litter and wheel.  The balance of the party was instructed to complete their hike north on the LT to their vehicle and meet SMR at Midway Base.  The litter extrication utilized two lowering systems on the steeper sections of trail, she was then moved into an ATV toboggan and slowly driven down to Midway Base without incident.  The balance of the hiking party picked up the patient shortly after SMR arrival at Midway Base.  They elected to transport the patient to the hospital in their personal vehicle

 

Team Members Responding
Veliko, Wehse, Clymer, Miller, Millick, Choularton, Richards, Rogers

Other Agencies Responding

None

Time of Event
1700 – 2000

Weather Conditions
Clear, Calm / 50 deg F

 

 

 

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October 3, 2020

Injured Hiker (Stowe / Clara Bow trail)

Two hikers were on the Clara Bow, one hiker slipped on the wet, leaf covered, rocky terrain.  She extended her arm to break her fall, injuring her shoulder.  They had no cell service and waited for passing hikers to hike to a location where cell service was available. Fortunately, marginal cell service was found a short distance away at the small beaver pond ~0.4 miles north of Taylor Lodge. The passing hikers also provided additional clothing/insulation to the injured party.

The 911 call went to the Underhill / Jericho FD, who deployed 3 team members and called SMR for assistance.

SMR staged at the Lake Mansfield Trout Club and deployed a two person hasty team on foot up the Lake Mansfield Trail toward Taylor Lodge.  A litter team of 6 compiled the required extrication equipment and used 3 ATVs to access the beaver pond just east of Taylor Lodge (0.1 miles before) using old logging roads.

The patient was located about 0.1 miles from the intersection of the LT and Clara Bow on the Clara Bow Trail, she was evaluated and her injury immobilized. We elected to attempt to have the patient walk out as a litter ride would have been very difficult for her to tolerate.  She was assisted / supported by 2-3 rescuers and was able to move slowly on the rocky, difficult terrain of the Clara Bow Trail. The couple started in Underhill at the Stevensville parking lot, but the extrication distance back to Underhill was 1.9 miles and SMR’s ATVs were 0.6 miles away. Once we arrived at the LT, her husband and the 3 UJFD members returned to Underhill. On the LT she was able to move at a faster pace and we soon arrived at the waiting ATVs. She was loaded onto an ATV and transported to Lake Mansfield Trout Club at a very slow walking speed. She was then transported to the Stowe Public Safety complex to meet her husband who transported her to the hospital for treatment.

 

Team Members Responding
Chegwidden, Choularton, Clymer, Eykelhoff, Millick, Richards, Veliko, Wehse

 

Other Agencies Responding

Underhill / Jericho Fire Department

Time of Event
1515 – 2015

Weather Conditions
Clear, Calm / 57 deg F

 

 

 

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October 3, 2020

Stranded Hikers (Stowe / Stowe Pinnacle)

Two hikers on the Pinnacle Trail were caught out after dark without lighting. Their 911 coordinates indicated they were located ~100′ off the Pinnacle Trail, just west of the intersection with the Skyline connector trail.

A team of two was deployed from the Upper Pinnacle Meadow’s parking lot to locate the subjects and assist them back to their vehicle.  The subjects were located, provided headlamps and escorted back to Upper Pinnacle Meadows where two SMR ATVs were waiting to transport the two subjects down to the parking lot.

Team Members Responding
Clymer, Richards, Ruschp, Veliko, Westervelt

 Other Agencies Responding

None

Time of Event
1930 – 2130

Weather Conditions
Overcast, Calm / 50 deg F

 

 

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September 30, 2020

Injured Hiker (Stowe / Stowe Pinnacle)

A hiking party of 3 was descending the Pinnacle Trail just below the vista, when one of the party lost their footing, injuring her leg and tumbling down a few steps before coming to a stop.  She was assisted / carried a short distance to the intersection of the Pinnacle and Pinnacle Meadows Trails by bystanders who stayed with the patient and provided her with extra clothing in an attempt to maintain her body temperature.

SMR set up a command and staging area in the Pinnacle Meadows parking lot. A hasty team was deployed on foot to stabilize the patient. A litter team was assembled and drove vehicles (ATVs & pickup) to the upper meadows and then hiked the Pinnacle Meadows Trail to the subject.

Her leg injury was assessed and appeared to be a minor injury, but her level of consciousness was depressed and disproportionate to her injury, potentially indicating an unknown medical event. She was packaged in a litter, sleeping bag, vacuum mattress and wheel and evacuated to the upper meadows where she was transferred to an ATV and delivered to SEMS who was staged on Upper Pinnacle Meadows Road.

SPD managed incident command and the staging area and SEMS assisted with field care and provided transportation to the hospital.

 

 

Team Members Responding
Chegwidden, Choularton, Clymer, Millick, Raybould, Richards, Rogers, Veliko, Westervelt

Other Agencies Responding
Stowe Police Department (SPD)

Stowe Emergency Management (SEMS)

 Time of Event
1645 – 1945

Weather Conditions
Clear, Calm / 64 deg F

 

 

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September 3, 2020

Fatality (Stowe / Bingham Falls)

A visiting family went for a hike at Bingham Falls.  They were at the bottom of the gorge walking around the main pool on slippery, sloping rocks, two members of the party slipped and fell into the pool, neither could swim.  A by-stander who happened to be a lifeguard, rescued one member of the party, but was completely exhausted from his excursion and the cold water and was unable to locate or assist the second subject.  The missing subject was a male who fell into the pool and did not resurface.

Stowe PD, Stowe EMS, Stowe FD and SMR responded. Colchester Technical Rescue and Johnson FD were requested for mutual aid in case dive resources were required.

Stowe PD managed traffic, assisted with the rescue attempt and was responsible for the investigation. Stowe FD established Incident Command and managed a Staging Area. Stowe EMS was responsible for patient care and Stowe Mountain Rescue was responsible for locating and extracting the subject.

SMR deployed two rescue swimmers, initially searching a high probability eddy just under where the subject entered the pool, this was unsuccessful.  They were next directed to a visual anomaly, river left of the waterfall’s entrance to the pool where they located the subject in about 10′ of water. They unsuccessfully attempted to access the subject, then a rescue pole was deployed to reach and bring the subject to the surface. The rescue swimmers brought the subject to the exit of the pool where he was loaded into a water litter.  The litter was then moved with a 2:1 haul system to an area where SEMS could safely work. SEMS executed the cold water drowning protocol, but was unsuccessful and the rescue operation transitioned into a recovery operation. The subject was extricated up the access trail using two counterbalance haul systems and staged for the ME and family.

Colchester and Johnson were canceled once the subject was extricated from the pool.

 

Team Members Responding
Choularton, Clymer, Eykelhoff, Raybould, Rogers, Ruschp, Veliko, Wehse, Westervelt

Other Agencies Responding
Stowe Police Department (SPD)

Stowe Emergency Management (SEMS)

Stowe Fire Department (SFD)

Colchester Technical Rescue (canceled prior to arrival)

Johnson Fire Department (canceled prior to arrival)

Stowe Mountain Resort – two EMTs

Time of Event
1230 – 1730

Weather Conditions
Clear, Calm / 66 deg F

 

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September 18, 2020

Injured Hiker (Mt Mansfield / Ridge Trail)

Two hikers set out from the Visitor’s Center at the top of the Toll Road on Mt Mansfield, traveling north on the Long Trail with the intention to hike to the Chin and return to the Visitor’s Center.

About halfway to the Chin, one of the hikers injured her lower leg, she was unable to bear weight and called 911 for assistance.  They were hiking without packs and were underdressed for the conditions on the exposed ridge, passing hikers very graciously provided a space blanket and extra clothing while the party waited for Mountain Rescue to arrive.

Three team members went directly to the scene to evaluate the injury and provide the patient with insulation. She was located on the LT, just north of the Canyon North / Canyon North Extension Connector trail.  She was provided additional insulation, her injury immobilized and she was packaged in a litter and wheel.  She was extricated south on the LT back to the Visitor’s Center where she was transferred to their vehicle for transportation to the hospital.\

 

Team Members Responding
Chegwidden, Clymer, Eykeloff, Richards, Veliko, Wehse, Westervelt

Other Agencies Responding

None

Time of Event
1515 – 1815

Weather Conditions
Clear, Calm / 58 deg F

 

 

 

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September 6, 2020

Injured Hiker (Mt.  Mansfield / Cliff Trail)

A hiker descending the Cliff Trail on Mount Mansfield lost her footing navigating the steep and rocky terrain, injuring her lower leg. She was in considerable pain and bearing weight on the injured leg was not an option, so the party called 911 for assistance.

SMR and SEMS accessed the patient using Stowe Mountain Resort’s Gondola, Upper Perry Merrill, the Connector Trail, then north on the Cliff Trail.

A SMR Hasty team located the patient who was in a seated position on the trail. She had her injury evaluated and splinted with available materials by a passing hiker who also provided her with a space blanket for insulation.

Though the makeshift splint was excellent, due to the short but difficult litter evacuation, it was replaced with a vacuum splint.

She was packaged in a litter and wheel with a vacuum mattress. The trail is very narrow, steep and rocky requiring very difficult litter passing and several rope lengths of lowering systems to aid in the extrication. Stowe Mountain Resort’s Gondola was used to complete the evacuation and the patient was delivered to SEMS without incident.

 

Team Members Responding
Choularton, Clymer, Eykelhoff, McLean, Millick, Raybould, Van Dyke, Veliko, Wehse

Other Agencies Responding
Stowe Emergency Management (SEMS)

Time of Event
1300 – 1600

Weather Conditions
Clear, Calm / 72 deg F

 

 

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September 5, 2020

Injured Mountain Biker (Stowe / Cady Hill)

A mountain biker at Cady Hill went over his handlebars while attempting to negotiate a jump, injuring his right shoulder / collar bone.  The patient was near the intersection of Zogs and Charlies trails and was unable to tolerate walking or standing as he became lightheaded and dizzy when attempting to do so.

He was evaluated, his injuries immobilized and he was packaged in a litter, propped up at about a 30 degree angle for comfort. He was evacuated without incident and transferred to SEMS for transport to the hospital.

 

Team Members Responding
Clymer, Eykelhoff, Millick, Raybould, Veliko, Warren, Wehse

Other Agencies Responding
Stowe Emergency Management (SEMS)

Time of Event
1500 – 1700

Weather Conditions
Clear, Calm / 69 deg F

 

 

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August 25, 2020

Injured Hiker (Stowe / Bingham Falls)

An elderly hiker at Bingham Falls slipped, injuring her upper arm /shoulder and called 911 for assistance.

SEMS, SPD and SMR deployed first responders to locate, evaluate and treat the subject.  The patient was located a short distance from the parking area, her injuries were assessed and the subject was walked out to the road with the assistance of rescuers.

She was further evaluated and treated by SMES.

 

 

Team Members Responding
Chegwidden, Choularton, Clymer, Eykelhoff, Govoni, Millick, Richards, Rogers, Van Dyke, Veliko, Wehse, Westervelt

Other Agencies Responding
Stowe Police Department (SPD)

Stowe Emergency Management (SEMS) 

Time of Event
1600 – 1700

Weather Conditions
Clear, Calm / 80 deg F

 

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August 24, 2020

Injured Hiker (Mt. Mansfield / Underhill / Laura Cowels Trail)

A party of two was hiking down Laura Cowels Trail, a hiker slipped and injured her ankle. She was unable to bear weight on the injured leg and called 911 for assistance. She was located about 3,400′ on the Cowels trail, within the jurisdiction of Underhill FD and Essex Rescue.  Mutual aid was requested from multiple back-country rescue teams, including SMR.

SMR accessed the subject using the Toll Road to the Visitor’s Center, Long Trail North, then down the Laura Cowels trail. Thunder storms were in the area and SMR was in constant communications with the National Weather Service monitoring any potentially dangerous cells.

The subjects’ injuries were evaluated and immobilized, she was then packaged in a litter and wheel.  The evacuation required multiple low angle lower systems to facilitate the evacuation.  She was delivered to Richmond Rescue for further evaluation and the patient refused ambulance transport to the hospital and opted for her husband to drive her there in their personal vehicle.

 

 

Team Members Responding
Chegwidden, Clymer, McLean, Millick, Richards, Veliko

Other Agencies Responding
Underhill / Johnson Fire Department

Waterbury Backcountry Rescue

Colchester Technical Rescue

Camels Hump Backcountry Rescue

Richmond Rescue

Time of Event
1245 – 1745

Weather Conditions
Dry but threatening thunder / 81 deg F,

 

 

 

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August 8, 2020

Injured Hiker (Stowe / Stowe Pinnacle)

A hiker was descending the Pinnacle Trail, slipped and injured her ankle. She was unable to bear weight, was assisted to the side of the trail by her two hiking companions who called 911 for assistance.

A hasty team located the patient on the Pinnacle Trail below the Skyline Trail intersection and above the Vista.  She was reported to have an isolated ankle injury with no additional complications.  The litter team drove to the Upper Meadows, used a non-maintained slide trail to ~2400′, then bushwhacked westerly a short distance to intersect the Pinnacle Trail at the patient’s location.

The patient was evaluated and her injury immobilized.  She was then packaged in a litter and wheel and extricated by reversing the litter team’s access route.  The patient declined Stowe EMS and elected to drive to the hospital in their personal vehicle.

 

Team Members Responding
Choularton, Clymer, Millick, Richards, Veliko, Wehse

Other Agencies Responding

None

Time of Event
1300 – 1600

Weather Conditions
Clear, Calm / 80 deg F

 

 

 

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July 24, 2020

Lost Hiker – minor (Mt Mansfield)

A father and son left the Visitor’s Center at the top of the Toll Road, headed north on the Long Trail toward the Chin.  The father became fatigued and decided to turn around, go back to the car and drive to the Toll House base, his son intended to continue to the Chin and return to the Toll Road via the LT south (reversing his route out), to walk down the Toll Road and meet his father. The father was waiting for his son at the Toll Road base and received a call from him indicating he had become disoriented and wasn’t sure of his location.  Dad called 911 for assistance.

After interviewing both the son and father the subject’s location was unclear (both were completely unfamiliar with Mount Mansfield).  The subject was directed to call 911 so we could obtain his coordinates, this indicated he was on the CC Road just above Underhill State Park.  He was instructed to continue down the CC Road and stop at the State Park.  Underhill State Park was notified and located the subject shortly after notification.  The father drove around to Underhill to pick up his son.

 

Team Members Responding
Clymer, Van Dyke, Veliko, Wehse

Other Agencies Responding
Stowe Police Department (SPD)

Time of Event
1715 – 1815

Weather Conditions
Clear, Calm / 84 deg F

 

 

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July 24, 2020

Stranded Hiker (Stowe / Skyline Ridge Trail-Pinnacle Trail)

A female hiker called 911 for assistance as she was moving very slowly, was exhausted, out of food, water and did not have a lighting source. She was on the Skyline Ridge trail just north/west of the Hogback summit at an elevation of ~3040′. She was instructed to slowly continue downhill and stop at the small col between Hogback and the Pinnacle. A small team left Pinnacle Meadows and used a non-maintained side trail to access the Hogback/Pinnacle col. She was located just as it became dark, was provided food, water and headlamp and was slowly escorted back to the parking lot.

 

 

Team Members Responding
Chegwidden, Choularton, Clymer, Millick, Veliko, Wehse

Other Agencies Responding

None

Time of Event
2000 – 2200

Weather Conditions
Clear, Calm / 81 deg F

 

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July 18, 2020

Injured Swimmer (Stowe / Bingham Falls)

A male subject was swimming at Bingham Falls and lost his footing while approaching a jumping site. He fell ~35-40′ impacting the cliff several times as he fell into the large pool at the bottom of the Falls. SEMS and SMR located the subject in the water at the pool’s drainage point, he was assisted there and was being supported by his friends.  The subject sustained knee and shoulder injuries, was extricated from the pool, moved onto a full body vacuum mattress, his knee was splinted in a position of comfort. He was extricated to SEMS without incident, using a litter / wheel and 3 rope raising systems.

 

Team Members Responding
Clymer, Eykeloff, Millick, Richards, Speer, Veliko, Wehse, Westervelt

Other Agencies Responding
Stowe Police Department (SPD)

Stowe Emergency Management (SEMS)

 

Time of Event
1745 – 1945

Weather Conditions
Clear, Calm / 91 deg F

 

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July 9, 2020

Injured Hiker (Cambridge / Sterling Pond Trail)

Cambridge Fire and Rescue requested assistance with a female hiker who injured her ankle on the Sterling Pond Trail.  CFD established incident command in the main parking lot at the top of Smugglers Notch and deployed a hasty team that included personnel from both CFD & CRS.

SMR deployed an additional three person team to help evaluate, immobilize and package the patient.  Upon the arrival of SMR Truck 2, a litter team of four moved evacuation equipment to the subject.

The patient was located about 1/3 of the way up the Sterling Pond Trail, she was hiking down, twisted and injured her ankle, was unable to bear weight and called 911 for assistance.

She was evaluated by CRS and SMR, her ankle was immobilized and she was packaged in a litter for extrication.  She was extricated and delivered to CRS without incident.

 

 

Team Members Responding
Chegwidden, Choularton, Clymer, Millick, Richards, Speer, Veliko, Wehse, Westervelt

Other Agencies Responding

Cambridge Fire/Rescue

Time of Event
1530 – 1730

Weather Conditions
Clear, Calm / 94 deg F

 

 

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July 3, 2020

Disoriented Hikers (Mt Mansfield Ridge)

 A couple with their 2 month old son, visiting from out of state, went for a hike on Mount Mansfield.  They parked at the top of the Toll Road and planned on hiking the Long Trail along the Mansfield Ridge.  After passing the Halfway House Trail, they inadvertently turned west off the LT, toward Underhill, thinking they were still on the LT.  They traveled down hill for about 80′ and joined the Halfway House Trail, they continued downhill to the junction with the Canyon Trail and Canyon North Trail.  At this intersection they were disoriented and called 911 for assistance.

SMR made phone contact with the couple, they were uninjured and the 2 month old child was doing well, although Mom was very upset and crying.  They were instructed to simply reverse direction and go back up the Halfway House trail to the Mansfield Ridge and the LT.  They made it to within ~80′ of the LT and were unable to safely proceed due to steep terrain, concerned about their 2 month old son.

SMR dispatched one rescuer to assist the subjects.  The subjects were located about 15′ off the Halfway House trail on a rock slab that leads to the LT/Mansfield Ridge.  This was the route they came down, but was not directly on the Halfway House Trail. With some assistance the family was escorted back up the Halfway House Trail to the LT south and their car at the Visitors Center parking lot without incident.

 

Team Members Responding
Veliko

Other Agencies Responding

None

Time of Event
1730 – 1930

Weather Conditions
Clear, Calm / 85 deg F

 

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June 22, 2020

Injured Mountain Biker (Stowe / Cady Hill)

 SMR responded to a medical emergency for an injured mountain bike rider.  The subject injured his left shoulder during a crash on the lower segment of Florence in Cady Hill park.

SMR found the subject in a supine position with his left arm fully extended to minimize the pain.  SMR assessed the subject for COVID-19 exposure/risk, then assessed his spinal/back/head and shoulder injury.  SMR immobilized his shoulder/arm with ace bandages and sling material, and then drove the subject out on an ATV.

The subject was delivered to Stowe EMS without further incident.

 

Team Members Responding
Clymer, Richards, Ruschp, Veliko, Wehse, Westervelt

Other Agencies Responding
Stowe Police Department (SPD)

Stowe Emergency Management (SEMS)

Time of Event
1030 – 1230

Weather Conditions
Clear, Calm / 89 deg F

 

 

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June 19, 2020

Injured Swimmer (Stowe / Bingham Falls)

A female was swimming at Bingham Falls, jumped into the main pool at the bottom of the gorge, hitting rocks and injuring her right lower leg.  She was unable to bear weight and was carried out of the pool to an area just below the main access trail by her family.

SMR, Stowe EMS and Stowe PD responded. The patient was found in a supine position, conscious and alert, complaining of severe lower leg pain.  She was interviewed to determine COVID-19 risk, although from CT, she had quarantined in VT for 14 days and had no symptoms. A procedure mask was applied for COVID-19 isolation, she was evaluated for injuries and her lower leg injury immobilized by SEMS. She was then placed in a bivy sack (COVID isolation) and packaged in a litter with a face shield (COVID isolation).

Two counterbalance haul systems were used to raise the litter up the steepest sections of trail.  The evacuation was completed without incident and the patient was delivered to SEMS for transport to Copley Hospital.

 

Team Members Responding
Choularton, Clymer, Govoni, McLean, Millick, Raybould, Richards, Speer, Veliko, Wehse, Westervelt

Other Agencies Responding
Stowe Police Department (SPD)

Stowe Emergency Management (SEMS)

Time of Event
1730 – 1930

Weather Conditions
Clear, Calm / 90 deg F

 

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June 15, 2020

Stranded Hikers (Stowe / Moss Glen Falls)

Two females hiking at Moss Glen Falls scrambled into the upper gorge, became trapped, were unable to climb back out and called 911 for assistance.

A hasty team of two SMR personnel and two Stowe PD Officers were deployed to locate the subjects, while the balance of the team assembled the required high angle extrication equipment.

The subjects were located in the upper gorge, about 50′ down, they were uninjured, but unable to climb back out.  A member of the hasty team rappelled down to the stranded subjects, provided procedure masks and administered the COVID-19 questionnaire, to which both subjects responded negatively to all questions.

A twin tension rope system was established at the top of the gorge and a rescuer was lowered down to the stranded subjects.  Harnesses and helmets were provided to the subjects. A subject was attached to the rope systems and the rescuer and subject were raised to the top of the gorge with a 5:1 mechanical advantage system.  A second rescuer was lowered into the gorge and the process was repeated for the second subject.  The initial hasty team member then self-extricated by ascending the rope he rappelled into the gorge with.

Both subjects were uninjured and extricated without incident.

 

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

Other Agencies Responding
Stowe Police Department (SPD)

Stowe Fire Department (SFD)

Time of Event
1330 – 1530

Weather Conditions
Clear, Calm / 70 deg F

 

May 31, 2020

Injured Hiker (Moss Glen Falls)

A male subject was hiking at Moss Glenn Falls and slipped near, injuring his knee.  He was found in a seated position on river right, below the falls.  He was evaluated and then his injury was  immobilized and then he was packaged in a litter.  He was evacuated and delivered to Stowe EMS without incident.

 

Team Members Responding
Veliko, Westervelt, Ruschp, Wehse, Millick, Choularton, Clymer, Richards

Other Agencies Responding
Stowe EMS

Time of Event
1340 – 15:40

Weather Conditions
Overcast, Calm / 55 deg F

 

 

 

 

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April 28, 2020

 

Stranded Hikers (Smuggler’s Notch)

VSP SAR / DPS was notified of two subjects stranded on a cliff in Smuggler’s Notch and activated SMR to effect a rescue.

The stranded party was reportedly using a rope to descend, during the decent their rope became stuck, they were unable to continue and called 911 for assistance.

Following strict COVID-19 protocols, SMR deployed five rescuers, while DPS Car 96 established Incident Command and Staging at Big Spring on Route 108.  Equipment and rescuers were transported to the top of the Notch using two ATVs and a toboggan.

Coordinates provided by the stranded subject indicated they were roughly opposite Hidden Gully near the top of the Notch. Upon arrival at the top of the Notch, SMR quickly made voice contact with the subjects, instructing them to use their phone’s light so we could better estimate their position.

Two rescuers were deployed up the Playground (ice climb) approach Gully to assess potential access. The subjects were located about 365′ in elevation above Route 108 on a small ledge, anchored to a tree.

Again, following strict COVID-19 protocols, the subjects were secured to rescue systems, provided clothing, foot traction and lowered off the ledge and into the Playground Gully.  Fixed ropes were then established for the entirety (~470′) of the evacuation, with the subjects escorted down the fixed lines by rescuers.

Once back to Route 108 the subject were transported by ATV to Cambridge Rescue for evaluation.

COVID-19 isolation and decontamination protocols were executed on all exposed personnel and equipment.

The subjects were poorly prepared, had inadequate clothing, footwear and no lighting (other than phone), started very late in the day, lacked technical experience for the terrain and had minimal familiarity with the area.

 

 

Team Members Responding
Veliko, Westervelt, Raybould, Millick, Chegwidden, Choularton

Other Agencies Responding
VSP/Car 96

VSP

Cambridge Fire/Rescue

Time of Event
2045 – 0200 (Next Day)

Weather Conditions
Overcast, Calm / 20 deg F

 

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April 23, 2020

 

Stranded Hikers (Smuggler’s Notch)

 

SMR was summoned to Smuggler’s Notch / Sterling Pond Trail to assist two hikers who found themselves in steep and icy terrain and unable to descend back to the base area safely.  The subjects were reported to be unhurt—just stuck.

SMR accessed the top of the Notch Road via ATV and deployed a team of three about 300’ up from summer parking lot area.  SMR donned rapid waist harnesses and micro spikes on the two subjects and a deployed a series of traverse and descend fixed ropes to assist with the extraction.   SMR members then escorted the subjects using carabiner/runners for the traverse and prussic hitches secured to the ropes for the descent through  a gulley to the parking lot area.  The extraction was executed without incident.

The subjects were transported back to the Smuggler’s base are by Cambridge Fire/Rescue personnel.

 

 

Team Members Responding
Van Dyke, Speer,  Wehse, Clymer

Other Agencies Responding
Cambridge Fire/Rescue

Time of Event
1900 – 2100

Weather Conditions
Sunny, Calm / 30 deg F

 

March 28, 2020

 

Water Rescue (Stowe-Waterbury, VT)

Subject extricated prior to SMR arrival.

SMR received a report of a woman who had fallen through the ice and was unable to self extricate from the pond.  From her home the subject saw her dog fall into her neighbor’s pond on Barnes Hill Road and was attempting to rescue her dog when she fell through the ice.  This was observed by the neighbor who called 911.

Two SMR members with throw bags were directed to the scene.  SMR Truck 2 was enroute w/a rescuer dressed in an exposure suite within ~7 minutes. Truck 1 w/the water trailer was about 5 minutes behind Truck 2.

SPD arrived on scene, located a pond side rescue ring and rope, threw the ring to the subject and extricate her from the pond as SMR first responders arrived. The subject was walked from the pond to SEMS by SPD.

 

Team Members Responding
Veliko, Speer, Westervelt, Rogers, Wehse, Raybould, Millick, Clymer, Choularton

Other Agencies Responding
Stowe Police Department

Stowe EMS

Time of Event
1645 – 1745

Weather Conditions
Partly Sunny, Calm / 25 deg F

 

March 23, 2020

 

Lost Hikers (Adams Camp / Stowe, VT)

Lamoille County Dispatch (Sherrif’s Office) called the SMR Chief at ~1800 advising of a male subject and his 9 year old son lost in the Ranch Valley area. The subjects were on Kimmer’s and lost the trail, they attempted to relocate it several times, then called 911 for assistance. The subjects cell phone number and the e911 coordinates were provided.

A phone interview with the subject reviled the following:

The subject had a phone w/67% charge, a phone charger, no head lamp, no health issues, adequately dressed, but concerned about remaining daylight. They were parked at the Adams Camp PL, at the bottom of Ranch Brook Rd.

The subject did have a compass app on his phone and was familiar with it’s operation.  Rather than burn daylight trying to locate the trail, at 1810 SMR directed the subjects to walk straight down hill on a bearing of ~35 degrees and advised SMR would call back in 30 minutes.

Traveling in that direction they would run into Ranch Brook within ~0.5 miles, if they stayed directly on the bearing, they should intersect Ranch Brook at the foot bridge the originally crossed.

At 1840 SMR called the subject and they were just arriving at their car.

 

 

Team Members Responding
Veliko

Other Agencies Responding
None

Time of Event
1800-1900

Weather Conditions
Snowing / 20 deg F

 

March 15, 2020

 

Injured Hiker (Stowe Mountain Resort)

Stowe Mountain Rescue was summoned to respond to the report of an injured hiker on Mount Mansfield near the gondola (Vail had closed the mountain due to COVID-19 precautions).

Upon speaking with the injured subject, he stated he had been hiking with his 3 children on Cliff Trail.  the terrain  was steep, icy and full of moguls.  he lost his footing near the top of the last steep pitch and careened down the hard, icy trail injuring his upper arm/shoulder and ribs.  He stated he could not move without serious pain.

Skiers who had heard his cries for help arrived on scene and secured the subject with extra layers and a hat while he waited for SMR to arrive.

Coincidentally, a SMR team member was in the local area recreating and was able to arrive on scene within 10 minutes of the original 911 call.

SMR deployed a team of 5 additional resources to extract the subject via a litter and ATV/Boggan.  the subject was delivered to the Midway Parking lot to an awaiting ambulance without further incident.

 

 

Team Members Responding
Veliko, Westervelt,  Ruschp, Rogers, Wehse, Raybould, Chegwidden, Clymer, Choularton

Other Agencies Responding
Stowe Police Department

Stowe EMS

Time of Event
1545 – 1745

Weather Conditions
Overcast, Calm / 20 deg F

 

March 7, 2020

 

Search / Lost Skier (Bolton/Waterbury)

VT Department of Public Safety Search and Rescue Coordinator requested assistance from SMR with a missing skier at the Bolton Valley Resort.  Multiple agencies were requested to support the search effort.

A Bolton Valley skier was reported overdue by this parents late Friday night.  An investigation by VSP and Bolton Valley Resort indicated the skier was using the Vista Chair to access the terrain east of the resort between Ricker and Woodward Mountains. Search teams were being deployed from the resort’s Vista chair and from below in the Stevenson Brook drainage / Waterbury Reservoir basin.

In route to the Bolton Valley Resort SMR was directed to the Little River Road / Woodward Hill Road to access a VAST snowmobile trail, with the assignment to search the Stevenson Brook drainage on the east / back side of the resort. Two high probability corridors were identified as search areas.

SMR split into two teams and used ATVs and a snowmobile to access the search corridors. Then on snowshoes, the teams searched for the missing skier hiking toward the summits of Ricker and Woodward Mountains. Initial reports from the search team working down from Ricker Mountain was they were following a single set of ski tracks into the drainage SMR Team 2 was hiking up.  These tracks eventually stopped and a boot track was followed back up toward the resort.  Based on this information and additional information identified by search teams, SMR was directed to abort their assignments and to go to the Cottonbrook Trail for a new assignments.  Once back on the VAST trail SMR team 2 did a sweep of the Cottonbrook VAST trail (100), during this sweep the subject was located in the small open hay barn at the junction of the old Foster’s trail and Cottonbrook road.

The subject was wet and cold, but otherwise doing well.  He was transported by snowmobile to s VSP SAR Team member who was staged at the Cottonbrook parking area for transportation back to Bolton Valley Resort.

 

 

Team Members Responding
Veliko, McLean Wehse Millick, Choularton, Clymer

Other Agencies Responding
VT State Police (Car 96)

Waterbury Back-Country Rescue

Camels Hump Back-Country Rescue

Colchester Technical Rescue

Time of Event
0330 – 0930

Weather Conditions
Overcast, Calm / 20 deg F

 

February 29, 2020

 

Skier Accident (Cambridge, VT)

Two skiers at Stowe Mountain Resort left Spruce Peak around 3:30 PM, heading approximately east toward Smuggler’s Notch.  At approximately 6:30 PM, attempting to descend into the Notch, well past sunset, the skiers stopped above a large drop, in an attempt to evaluate the terrain, one skier lost his footing and fell from the top of the cliff and his partner called 911 for assistance.

The 911 coordinate indicated the subject was above the “Big Spring” in Smuggler’s Notch.

Access from above would be long, difficult and technical in sections.  Access from below would be shorter, but technical difficulties could preclude access. The ingress plan was to attempt to access the skiers from below leaving Route 108 just above the “Big Spring” parking area.

Based on the potential magnitude of the mission SMR requested assistance from Cholchester Technical rescue, who provided two rescuers and individuals associated with The Mountain Warfare School in Underhill, who provided five climbers / rescuers. Cambridge Fire Department provided logistical support and snowmobile transportation.

The fallen skier was prioritized and accessed first, he was located above a 50′ cliff band, on a small, steep, snowfield, below a 200′ ice climb, he was evaluated, packaged and extricated using a litter and multiple lowering systems.  The patient was then transferred to SEMS at Barnes Camp staging area for further evaluation.

The skier stranded on top of the ice climb was accessed via the ice climb and lowered two rope lengths to the base of the cliff band. He was then escorted down to the Notch Road and Barnes Camp staging without incident where he was further evaluated by SEMS.

 

 

Team Members Responding
Veliko, Speer, Westervelt, Rogers, Millick, Clymer

Other Agencies Responding
VT State Police (Car 96)

Mountain t Warfare School

Colchester Technical Rescue

Cambridge Fire/Rescue

Stowe EMS

Time of Event
1845 – 0345 (Next Day)

Weather Conditions
Overcast, Calm / 20 deg F

 

 

February 22, 2020

 

Snowmobile Accident (Cottonbrook/Waterbury)

Stowe Mountain Rescue (SMR) responded to a call for a 35-year old female with a leg injury on Cottonbrook Trail, reportedly 3/4 of a mile from the trail head/parking lot.

A SMR hasty team member ascertained that the subject had been involved in a snowmobile accident and was provided a ride to the scene by the local snowmobile outfitter company.  SMR arrived shortly after the hasty team member’s departure and fielded 4 more personnel on two ATVs with a rescue boggan; at this point, it was still unclear the extent of the subject’s injuries.

Enroute to the scene, SMR was flagged by a lone snowmobile.  This driver (from the local snowmobile outfitter) was transporting the initial subject out to the parking lot.  The subject was in severe pain with upper chest and side injuries, but had decided she wanted a ride out rather than wait for SMR.   After a quick assessment by SMR, the patient remained on the snowmobile and was driven out to the parking lot by the outfitter guide.  The guide relayed that there was a second injured subject still at the scene, but could not describe the extent of the injury.

SMR continued toward the accident scene (which turned out to be 2.5 miles from the parking lot).  Prior to arriving at the accident scene, SMR encountered the rest of the outfitter group along with the SMR hasty team member traveling toward the parking lot on the remaining snowmobiles.   The second subject had a leg injury and was in slight pain but was comfortable continuing to ride on a snowmobile toward the parking lot.  At this point, SMR escorted the group and the second subject back toward the parking lot.

SMR radioed back to Stowe EMS that there are two subjects en route and the decision to summon a second ambulance was made by Stowe EMS.

Both subjects were turned over to Stowe EMS for assessment and transport to hospital.

 

 

Team Members Responding
Westervelt, Speer, Wehse, Raybould, Millick, Clymer

Other Agencies Responding
VT State Police

Stowe EMS

Time of Event
1745 – 1945

Weather Conditions
Overcast, Calm / 25 deg F

 

 

February 9, 2020

Lost Skier (Cambridge/Underhill, VT)

A male skier left Stowe Mountain Resort and inadvertently skied into Thunder Basin.

He thought he was south of Sunset Ridge and was working north, but he was actually north of the ridge, travelling into Thunder Basin.
His 911 coordinates were plotted and he was directed to ski downhill, hug the ridge and try to stay out of the drainage.

It was 1710, he did not have any lighting and his cell phone had minimal battery life.  He was instructed to put his phone in airplane mode, keep it warm and if was was unable to proceed due to darkness to call 911.

He made it out to 165 Deane Road in Underhill at ~1900, where his brother in-law picked him up.

No response required by SMR.

 

Team Members Responding
Veliko

Other Agencies Responding
VT State Police (Car 96)

Time of Event
1700 – 1900

Weather Conditions
Overcast, Calm / 25 deg F

 

 

February 3, 2020

Canine Rescue (Stowe, VT)

SMR was dispatched to assist a dog who had fallen into the Little River in Moscow and was trapped.
In this section of the Little River the banks are guarded by ice shelves, leaving a channel of open, moving water down the center of the river.  The dog wandered onto the ice shelf and fell into the icy water.  He was unable to climb back onto the ice shelf and was trapped in the river.
When SMR arrived, the river conditions were quickly evaluated.  The dog appeared extremely hypothermic — he was no longer shivering and was very lethargic, barely holding on to the ice shelf.  A rescue swimmer in a dry suite was immediately deployed.  The river depth was only about 1 meter simplifying the rescue.  The dog was extricated from the river and placed in a sleeping bag and carried up to SMR’s truck where the dog started shivering and rewarming.  Though the dog seemed to be recovering well, the owner wisely decided to take the dog to the veterinarian for evaluation.

 

Team Members Responding
Veliko, Eykelhoff, Ruschp, Burke, Clymer

Other Agencies Responding
Stowe Fire Department

Time of Event
1200 – 1300

Weather Conditions
Overcast, Calm / 30 deg F

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 24, 2020

Injured Hiker (Stowe, VT)

Stowe EMS was activated for a female subject with an ankle injury about 200 M behind Mountain Haus Dr.  The subject was walking her dog, slipped and injured her ankle.
The subject was on a steep hillside about 200 M behind the Mt. Haus parking lot, based on the terrain SEMS requested assistance from SMR & SFD.
SEMS evaluated and treated the patient and SMR packaged the subject in a vacuum mattress and Stokes litter.  The patient was evacuated and transferred to SEMS ambulance without incident.

 

Team Members Responding
Veliko, Westervelt, McLean, Ruschp, Wehse, Raybould, Millick, Burke, Clymer

Other Agencies Responding
Stowe Fire Department
Stowe Rescue

Time of Event
1616 – 1715

Weather Conditions
Overcast, Calm / 35 deg F

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 19, 2020

Injured Snowboarder (Stowe Mountain Resort / Side-country)

SMR was requested by Mt. Mansfield Ski Patrol to assist with the report of a snowboarder with a leg injury on “Johnny’s Banana” (side country north of the resort) at ~2100′.
The subject was accessed from the Notch Road, his injury immobilized and packaged in a litter with a vacuum mattress.  The evacuation required 2 low angle lowering systems and was completed without incident.
The patient was transferred to Stowe Rescue for transportation to the hospital.

 

Team Members Responding
Veliko, Westervelt, McLean,  Wehse, Millick, Chegwidden, Clymer, Choularton

Other Agencies Responding
Mt. Mansfield Ski Patrol
Cambridge Fire Dept.
Stowe Rescue

Time of Event
1015 – 1315

Weather Conditions
Overcast, Calm / 15 deg F

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 10, 2020

Snowmobile Accident (VAST Trail / CottonBrook)

SMR was summoned to respond to a snowmobile accident on the VAST trail in the CottonBrook area, approximately 3 miles from the parking lot.  Initial information identified a 35 year-old female with a knee injury.

While en route, SMR was informed of a second subject may also have been injured in the accident.

An Advanced EMT from Stowe Rescue was transported to the accident scene prior to SMR arrival at the CottonBrook staging area.  SMR immediately prepped ATVs / boggan and Snowmobile and deployed with 5 team members.  At the scene, Stowe Rescue had assessed two patients.  SMR immediately transported one patient out on ATV to an awaiting ambulance.  SMR packaged the second patient in a litter with vacuum mattress and transported her out to a second ambulance in the ATV/Boggan..

After handing patients off to Stowe Rescue, SMR helped VSP access accident scene for an initial investigation and rope off area.

 

 

Team Members Responding
McLean, Ruschp, Wehse, Clymer, Choularton

Other Agencies Responding
Stowe Rescue
Stowe Police Dept.
VSP / Car 96
Morrisville Rescue

Time of Event
1030 – 1230

Weather Conditions
Overcast, Calm / 25 deg F

 

 

January 1, 2020

 

Canine Rescue (Bingham Falls – Mill Trail, Stowe, VT)

 

SMR requested to rescue a 12 year old female dog who had fallen into Bingham Falls.
Greta (canine) slipped off the edge of Upper Bingham Falls and fell ~25 feet into a pool below. The owner lost sight of her, hiked downstream and saw that she had gotten out of the water but was now stranded on a narrow ledge in the gorge.  Unable to access the dog, the owner called 911 for assistance.

SMR established two edge attendants positioned with ropes on either side of the gorge to assist with the rescue as required.  A rescuer in a dry suite was lowered into the gorge and outfitted Greta with a harness and attached her to his rope system.  A mechanical advantage system was established to raise Greta and the rescuer to the top of the gorge where Greta was reunited with her owner.  She was cold and shaken, but unharmed.

Team Members Responding
Veliko, Van Dyke, Westervelt, Wehse, Miller, Raybould, Millick, Clymer, Choularton, Chegwidden

Other Agencies Responding
None

Time of Event
0845 – 1145

Weather Conditions
Overcast, Calm / 20 deg F

 

January 1, 2020

 

Lost Snowboarder (Bruce Trail, Stowe, VT)

SMR responded to Ranch Valley for a snowboarder who left the resort boundaries and needed assistance.

 

A Stowe Mountain Resort snowboarder left the area boundaries starting down the Bruce Trail, alone and very late in the day.  He inadvertently turned onto the “Waterfall” pitch, then into the drainage just east of the “Waterfall”.  It was becoming dark and the subject was tracking his location with his phone, unfortunately this was draining his battery and by the time he called 911 for assistance his phone battery was down to 1%.
His coordinates were obtained and plotted, he was at an elevation of 2300′ and was instructed to continue down the drainage for ~100′ (in elevation) until it intersected with John’s Road and to wait there for rescue to arrive.
SMR set up Command / Staging at the Touring Center Parking Lot.  Two snow machines (1 from Stowe Mt Resort w/a member of MMSP) and a tracked ATV were deployed up the Bruce Trail to the “Easy Out” intersection.  From there the team hiked up “Easy Out” locating the subject at the drainage intersection.  The subject was in good condition and they hiked back down to the snow machines and ATV without incontinent, he was then taken down to the command post and driven to his vehicle.

Team Members Responding
Veliko, Westervelt, Speer, Eykelhoff, Wehse, Rogers, Millick, Clymer, Choularton

Other Agencies Responding
VT State Police SAR Coordinator
Mount Mansfield Ski Patrol
Stowe Police Dept.

Time of Event
1645 – 1945

Weather Conditions
Overcast, Calm / 20 deg

 

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