Stowe backcountry rescue crews worked the western slopes of Mount Mansfield on Sunday to assist a hiker who hurt her leg.

According to Stowe Mountain Rescue, on Oct. 11 around 1:15 p.m., the Underhill/Jericho Fire Department called for help with a woman with a leg injury at about 3,560 feet on the Sunset Ridge Trail, on the Underhill side of Vermont’s highest peak. She was about 700 feet below the Mansfield ridge and 1,200 feet above the Underhill State Park access road.

A crew of six from Stowe Mountain Rescue approached from the Stowe side, while the fire department and crews from Camel’s Hump Backcountry Rescue and Colchester Technical Rescue responded from the Underhill side.

A two-person “hasty team” from the Underhill/Jericho Fire Department reached the hiker first, provided some insulation, evaluated the patient’s injury and established a field command structure.

After Stowe Mountain Rescue arrived, additional insulation was provided, the injury was immobilized and she was packaged in a litter with a vacuum mattress. She was evacuated down the Sunset Ridge Trail to Underhill State Park, requiring multiple lowering systems.

The whole mission took eight hours, wrapping up well after dark.

The hiker declined ambulance transportation to the hospital and elected for her family to take her in their personal vehicle.

— Tommy Gardner

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