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To The Editor:
On November 3 and again exactly 20 days later the Waterbury Backcountry Rescue Team coordinated with Mad River Valley Ambulance Service to search for missing hikers along the Long Trail on the ridgeline above the ski areas at Sugarbush. In both cases the searches began late at night, in bad weather, and lasted until the next morning.
It is important to note that Jon Hammond, vice president of operations at Sugarbush, his staff of snowmakers and groomers, along with others at Sugarbush were absolutely key in conducting these searches. At great expense to the resort, they took valuable time away from their duties of making snow and grooming trails. Sugarbush provided transportation for the search teams to and from the summits. The resort quickly opened up its clinics to serve as command posts. Sugarbush even provided GPS-enabled portable radios to each team so that their positions could be monitored at every step. Both of these searches came off very effectively because of the folks at Sugarbush.
The Mad River Valley is very lucky to have Sugarbush as such an excellent corporate citizen. The resort deserves a huge thank you from all of the searchers and the lost hikers who were all found uninjured.
Brian Lindner, team leader
Waterbury Backcountry Rescue Team