Search-and-rescue teams brought 23 skiers and snowboarders who got lost in the Vermont backcountry to safety Saturday amid single-digit temperatures, authorities said.
Officials were notified at 2:30 p.m. Saturday of seven to nine lost skiers and snowboarders, police in Killington, a town about 40 miles southwest of Montpelier, said in a news release.
Killington police and Vermont State Police Search and Rescue determined 21 people were actually missing in the backcountry — six children among them, police said.
Search-and-rescue crews “hiked, snowshoed and skinned” in single-digit temperatures for about 5 miles to bring the group of 21 skiers and snowboarders to safety.
After their rescue, the skiers and snowboarders warmed up from the cold in the rescue team vehicles as they waited for rides home.
Then, a call came in for two more lost skiers, prompting a crew of Killington Search and Rescue team members to head back out to the woods, police said. The team found the final two skiers and walked them to safety around 7:30 p.m.
Killington Fire/Rescue, Killington Resort Ski Patrol, Rescue Inc. and State PSAP/Dispatch also helped with large rescue mission.
“A special thanks should be given to all the volunteers who responded and worked this call,” police said on Facebook.
Hours before the incident, police posted a notice on social media reminding people to stay inbounds.
“With today’s temperatures, getting lost or injured in the backcountry could become tragic,” police said.