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

 

 

 

 

[/vc_row]

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

 

[/vc_row]

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

 

F