On January 20th, a backcountry rescue unfolded near Vermont’s Killington ski resort, involving 23 skiers and snowboarders caught in freezing temperatures. The group, primarily front-side resort participants, made an ill-fated decision to venture into the backcountry from Killington Resort, ignoring warnings and heading beyond designated boundaries near the Snowdon Six Express lift.
Descending into Brewers Brook, a steep gully with powder accumulation, the group reached the bottom only to face a challenging 2.5-mile trek over steep and icy terrain. Lacking essential touring equipment like climbing skins or splitboards, they became exhausted, cold, and disoriented.
Search and Rescue coordinator for the Vermont State Police, disclosed that despite being in the backcountry, the individuals were not experienced in such terrain. With growing severity, 21 skiers and snowboarders, including six children, initiated multiple distress calls to 911. This prompted a daring rescue mission, highlighting the critical importance of preparedness in the unpredictable Vermont backcountry.