March 25, Stowe Mountain Rescue conducted what is destined to become a legendary family story for two young newlyweds.
Their honeymoon went pear-shaped when their March 24 hike up Mt. Mansfield from the Underhill side became critical. They had climbed up Maple Ridge trail to the top and began their trek across the ridge on Canyon Trail with the intention to descend back to Underhill via the Half-Way House Trail.
The hike went awry as the hikers lost the trail and began to descend through steep terrain, trapped between ice cliffs and unable to safely navigate up or down.
Stowe Rescue drove up the mountain in a bus cat and dropped down to them from Canyon Trail following their footsteps, busting through deep snow and thick brush and picking our way past ice cliffs. Squad members equipped them with crampons and guided them safely through the obstacles back up to the top to the awaiting bus cat.
The timing of their call for help was perfect as Stowe Rescue able to conduct the entire mission in fading daylight and got them to the safety of the bus cat mere minutes before darkness shrouded the ridgeline.
“We brought them down the mountain in the bus cat and then drove them back to the trailhead in Underhill. We’re glad they called for help and wish them a long and happy marriage!,” Stowe Rescue said.
While the snow has essentially disappeared from the valleys and rural Vermonters still grapple with mud season, spring is just around the corner and the desire to get out and hike is strong. Except it’s not spring on the ridge. If you plan to hike up Mt Mansfield (or any elevation above 2500’), please be prepared for winter conditions and deep snow. There are still 54 inches of snow at the stake on the Mansfield ridge, and the snow will be with us for quite a while.
An heroic rescue, also done often by Underhill/Jericho firemen for many of these hiking rescue calls on the west side of the mountain, and they don’t get to use a machine, due to trail conditions.. Broken legs take a ton of help !! Great Job, Firefighters/Rescue personel
That Mountain deserves a huge helping of respect – weather at the top is always different than the weather at the trailhead