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Three Backcountry Rescues In One Week

Each rescue is difficult work and can cost thousands of dollars. The latest rescue was Wednesday night; it took crews more than six hours to locate the injured hiker and bring her down the mountain.
HUNTINGTON, Vt. -  Three times in one week search and rescue teams were put into action, to find missing hikers.

Each rescue is difficult work and can cost thousands of dollars. The latest rescue was Wednesday night; it took crews more than six hours to locate the injured hiker and bring her down the mountain.

“Backcountry rescues are not like what you see on TV they are all measured in hours and hours and hours,” said Brian Lindner, a Team Leader with the Waterbury Backcountry Rescue Team.

Lindner says it started off tragically crews found a missing 22 year old hiker who was waiting for help had died on the trail.

“Deaths are rare thankfully, but the clock is ticking. We've responded to, as most teams have, to a number of cases where if things had gone just a little bit worse the situation could have turned tragic,” said Lindner.

And Lindner says those types of situations are becoming increasingly more common.

“When we started the team we did 3-4 rescues a year. Last year we did 20,” said Lindner.

In the last 48 hours Lindner's team has been busy.

“Waterbury was called out Tuesday afternoon and several of our team members never got a chance to go to sleep again until last night because we've been out on the trails the entire time,” said Lindner.

This time of year the trails in Vermont are still closed. But hikers still head up the trail at Camels Hump. And while the weather seems nice at the base, up at the summit could be an entirely different story.

“Once you get up to a higher altitude the trails right now literally are glaciers. You need crampons or spikes to walk on them safely,” said Lindner.

And if it’s not safe for you to hike, it’s also not safe for those who come to your aid if you need it.

“When we are rescuing we are carrying people down the mountain after we've had to carry equipment up so it’s more dangerous for us then it is for the regular hiker,” said Lindner.

So Linder says the best advice is to stay off the trails until they open for the season Memorial Day Weekend.

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