Search and Rescue Heroes Save 23 Lost Skiers In Grueling Backcountry Operation

January 22, 2024

Today's good news story comes from Killington, Vermont.

In a remarkable display of teamwork and dedication, the Killington Police Department, along with the Killington Search and Rescue (KSAR) team, successfully rescued 23 lost skiers and snowboarders in a challenging backcountry operation that unfolded on January 20, 2024.

lost skiers rescued
Killington Police Department

The saga began when the Killington Police Department received a distress call at approximately 2:30 p.m., alerting them to 7-9 lost individuals in the backcountry.

However, as the officers, in collaboration with VSP SAR Coordinator Drew Clymer, delved into the investigation, they uncovered a more extensive situation involving a total of 21 lost individuals, including 6 juveniles.

Quick decision-making led to the activation of KSAR, who swiftly mobilized with 12 dedicated members. Braving frigid temperatures, the team hiked, snowshoed, and skinned approximately 5 miles to reach the stranded skiers and snowboarders. Their goal was clear: evaluate the situation and bring everyone back to safety.

Once out of the treacherous woods, the rescued individuals found refuge in the warmth of Killington Fire Department's Heavy Rescue truck and the personal vehicles of the KSAR team members. As they awaited their rides, the heroes of the day ensured that each person received the care they needed.

Just when the team thought their mission was complete, an additional call came in for two more lost skiers in the backcountry. Without hesitation, six KSAR team members re-entered the woods and successfully located and escorted the lost duo to safety, concluding the operation at approximately 7:30 p.m.

The efforts of these selfless individuals exemplify the true spirit of community and demonstrate the extraordinary lengths to which these dedicated teams will go to ensure the safety and well-being of others. The Killington Police Department extended a special thanks to all involved - KSAR, Killington Fire/Rescue, Killington Resort Ski Patrol, Rescue Inc., and State PSAP/Dispatch.

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