2 hikers rescued after getting stuck on snowy, icy Vermont trail

STOWE, Vt. (AP) — Two hikers who found themselves stuck in snowy and icy terrain while on a temporarily closed trail in Vermont were rescued.

A Stowe Mountain Rescue team pulled two women out from the Sterling Pond Trail in Smugglers Notch on Thursday night, the Burlington Free Press reported.

“Two women left Burlington on a beautiful day with green grass and expected to see the same in the Notch and found they couldn’t make their way back down,” said Doug Veliko, chief of Stowe Mountain Rescue.

Veliko warned about the dangerous conditions right now on the trails that have been officially closed by the state under guidance by the CDC amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The rescue team had to quarantine the equipment used to pull the women to safety over virus concerns. Rescue clothing and trucks also have to be decontaminated.

Veliko said the virus has changed the way rescuers respond to stranded hikers. He said fewer people are sent in order to minimize exposure and planning for rescues take longer, increasing the amount of time before the team can help those stranded.