Middlebury hiker rescued after night lost on Long Trail

HANCOCK — A Middlebury man was found early Friday morning by area rescue teams after apparently getting lost Thursday while hiking on the Long Trail north of the Middlebury Gap off Route 125 in Hancock. Rescue personnel spent most of the morning evacuating Jeffrey Kramer, 27 of Middlebury, who was taken to Porter Hospital for treatment of exposure and frostbite.
Vermont State Police in New Haven were made aware of a missing/overdue hiker somewhere in the Ripton area at approximately 2:30 on Thursday afternoon. He was reportedly hiking the Long Trail with weather conditions that were much more severe in the higher elevations than lower down. The state police report did not offer details about how long Kramer had been hiking, where he had started or his destination, but there were blizzard-like conditions high in the mountains on Thursday and with 40 to 50 inches of snow having fallen in the past four days, hiking would be difficult and it would have been easy to become disoriented.
Multiple rescue teams responded for an extensive overnight search, including the Ripton and Hancock Fire Departments, US Forest Service, Vermont Fish & Wildlife, Middlebury Snow Bowl Ski Patrol, Middlebury College staff, Vermont State Police New Haven & Royalton, Vermont State Police Search and Rescue, and Upper Valley Wilderness Rescue.
During the night, additional information was received indicating that Kramer may have been on the Long Trail north of VT Route 125 in the Town of Hancock. Search teams responded to that area and, after an all-night search, located Kramer at approximately 7:30 a.m. Friday morning, March 16. Additional personnel responded to assist in evacuating Kramer off the Long Trail. Police and rescue teams used the Middlebury College Snow Bowl lodge as the base area for rescue teams and the state police.

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