CAMBRIDGE, Vt. – An avalanche struck six soldiers of the Army undergoing mountain warfare training in Vermont and the highest mountain of Wednesday, injuring five of them.
Rescue workers worked for the evacuation of the six soldiers who were training in Smugglers Notch, a narrow passage, at the northern edge of Mount Mansfield. The base of the notch is surrounded by steep cliffs on both sides.
Five of the soldiers were sent to the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington. Their conditions were unknown in the afternoon. The sixth soldier back to duty.
There’s no word on what triggered the avalanche about 1 hour The soldiers were later brought down the mountain to waiting ambulances. A photo posted by WCAX-TV shows a soldier on a stretcher.
Smugglers Notch separates the Stowe and Cambridge. The Stowe ski area is on one side of the notch, and Smugglers’ Notch ski resort is located on the other.
Heavy snow has fallen in the area in the past weeks. The Vermont Department of Public Safety said that the recent storms have created extremely unstable conditions in steep terrain.”
The U.S. Army Mountain Warfare school run by the Vermont National Guard. The Army website says that the school provides tactical and technical training for mountain warfare and cold weather operations.
It is unclear what the soldiers were doing when the avalanche hit. But soldiers, winter training, based at the Ethan Allen Training Center in Jericho, will practice ice climbing in the notch, as well as other cold weather activities.