It was a busy August in the Berkshires for WMTRT with a total of four callouts. WMTRT assisted the Great Barrington Fire Department at the Squaw Peak area of Monument Mountain on August 29 to rescue an injured hiker, the third such response to that area in recent weeks. This most recent incident was for a hiker with an ankle injury. According to a press release issued by GBFD, the man was located on a very steep portion of the mountain and he was lowered approximately 150 feet down the slope where he was then moved to a waiting UTV.
WMTRT members assisting at the August 30 incident
Earlier in the month, WMTRT members worked with multiple agencies nearby in the recovery of a fatality. The news report detailing the August 13th, 2016 incident is below.
A third recent rescue on August 5th, 2016, involved a patient without serious injury, also on Monument Mountain. This incident was also supported by the Southern Berkshire Volunteer Volunteer Ambulance Squad and Sheffield Fire Department. The patient was transported to Berkshire Medical Center.
According to Wikipedia, Monument Mountain is a 500-acre reservation located in Great Barrington, centered on the 1,642 feet Squaw Peak. Over 20,000 visitors a year hike the trail system. Theses photos and video give a good sense of how challenging technical rescues on this steep terrain can be.
notice the steep terrain on the east side of Monument Mountain
view from the top of Squaw Peak
Finally, while it didn’t make local news outlets, WMTRT also assisted Lanesborough Fire Department on August 12th, with the rescue of a hiker who sustained an ankle injury on the March Cataract Trail near the Sperry Road campground. WMTRT members helped with evacuation of the patient approximately one half mile using the stokes basket with wheel attachment while other TRT members set up 2 short low slope systems. Mass DCR Rangers, Williamstown forest wardens were also on scene providing support. The patient was transported by Village Ambulance. The entire operation lasted more than three hours.