JAY — Three skiers have been rescued from Jay Peak back country.
David Marchand, the director of Jay Peak Ski Patrol, says Vermont State Police received the 911 call Thursday at 4 p.m.
The two skiers and one snowboarder who were all in their 30s separated at Gilpin Peak East of the 242 and couldn’t reach each other.
“They split up at the top of their run, instead of staying together as a ski group and keeping their members in sight, one went off in a different direction,” Marchand said. “They were lucky one of them had a cell phone.”
Jay Peak Ski Patrol happened to be nearby on a search and rescue training exercise and were able to respond.
They located the skiers and were able to guide them down using a wilderness safety app called Airflare. This is the first year that Jay has chartered with the company.
“They’ve given us a bunch of tools as a search team. So we can essentially send location requests to people’s cell phones and pull their GPS coordinates to help talk them out or at least know where they are to go to them,” said Marchand.
He says that the equipment Jay received includes a drone that assists in seeing through trees and foliage.
Marchand says the rescue included 10 members of the Jay Peak Ski Patrol and took about two hours.
“They were excited and very thankful that we were able to mobilize and willing to help them,” Marchand said.
However, he says that good wilderness etiquette is essential if you’re going to be skiing at Jay.
“Be prepared, which includes being prepared for the unexpected or emergencies. Packing the right equipment,” he said.
He says that Jay gets about a dozen calls per season reporting lost skiers.