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Record number of skiers "lost" this winter

The Vermont State Police in Rutland have reported a record number of "lost" skiers at Vermont ski resorts and backcountry ski areas since December. Heavy snowfall and whiteout conditions have added to the problem of skiers losing their ways on area mountain slopes. Luckily, there have been no fatalities on local ski trails to date.

On Jan. 31, at 1:32 p.m., the VSP Search and Rescue at Killington finally located Gustavo Oascar Iriarte, 45, of Lyndhurst, N.J.

Iriarter, one of eight skiers reported missing and later found within the past week, was found in Mendon near Brewers Corner. The skier, suffering from some exposure, was found on a snowmobile trail. He had been missing approximately 12 hours.

Iriarte reported that he had suffered from cold hands and toes. He was transported to Rutland Regional Medical Center for medical evaluation.

The Vermont State Police remind citizens and visitors to ski and ride with care.

Killington Resort offered the following reminders for skiers and riders: Ski and snowboard only on open, designated trails, slopes, freestyle and tree skiing areas. Never ski or snowboard alone. Woods and backcountry areas beyond open and designated trails are not maintained or checked by ski area personnel.

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