Mountain rescue ends safely in Smuggler's Notch - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Mountain rescue ends safely in Smuggler's Notch

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STOWE, Vt. - A mountain rescue at Smugglers Notch ended early Sunday morning.

The call came in around 7:30 p.m. Saturday night after two hikers were stranded near Route 108 in Cambridge. Police say one hiker was seriously injured.

"It could be 2-3 hours for them to get up there. They've got about a 100 feet once they get to the base of where he's at, about 100 feet vertical climb to get up to him, and with it being dark and very slippery it's just a very slow-going process," said Cambridge Fire Dept. 1st Asst. Chief Carey White.

Police say two of the four hikers in the group were able to get off the mountain on their own.  The injured hiker had to be rescued and airlifted to the hospital.  "The first subject had fallen about 150 feet onto a ledge and was about 30 feet above the base of the gully when the team arrived. He was evacuated and handed off to DHART for an airvac to Burlington," said Stowe Mountain Rescue's Doug Veliko.

Crews from Colchester Rescue also responded.  It took a team of five to get to the hikers. "Where the second subject was, he was about 200 feet up and in very technical, very dangerous terrain," Veliko said.

Stowe Mountain Rescue responds to roughly 40 similar calls a year and officials say knowing your limits could be a matter of life and death. "There are few trails up there because of the cliff areas. There are very limited places to hike outside of the trails, so my advice is to stay on the trails. Do not enter technical terrain unless you're a technical climber," Veliko said.

The experts say preparing for the unexpected is key and advise to always carry items like a map, water and a head lamp to stay safe out on the trails.

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