A Putnam County skier lost their life while on a skiing trip to the backcountry.

Cold Spring New York Skier Dies in Stowe, Vermont

A local Vermont news station reports that 27-year-old Brooks Ralph of Cold Spring, New York was reported missing around 6:30 pm on Tuesday night February 20th, 2024. Ralph was skiing a Stowe Mountain Resort in Vermont when he went missing.

According to WCAX3, rescue crews found Ralph's body later that night around 11:45 pm. His body was found in a "steep wooded area above the Upper Perry Merrill Trail, which according to the report is outside of Stowe's resort boundaries.

Strava's Fatmap states that the Perry Merrill Trail is an uphill route to Cliff House which "sits at the highest elevation within Stowe Resort at 3,625 feet."

The 27-year-old was found above that area.

Stowe Mountain Rescue Team Shares Skiing Safety Tips

WCAX3 reports that Stowe Mountain Rescue assisted in finding Brooks Ralph's body. Police are investigating but say that the "preliminary investigation indicates the death was an accident."

Stowe Mountain Rescue shared on Facebook that they were part of the recovery efforts in the backcountry terrain and as skiers themselves they "understand the draw to explore the backcountry and we’re devastated at the senseless loss of such a beautiful, adventurous young life."

With that being said, they wanted to "honor the life of this young man [Ralph]" by sharing and following the principles they listed on Facebook. They write

1: Only ski terrain you’re familiar with. Go with someone who knows where the cliffs are. Hire a reputable guide if necessary. Don’t ski alone! Not that having a partner can prevent catastrophe, but it might just save you in the case of serious injury.
2: Tell someone your plans - your intended route and anticipated timeline.
3: Be equipped to effect your own rescue or survive while you await help. This means carry a first aid kit, protection from the elements, high energy food and water, spare phone battery, headlamps and maybe a fire starting kit. Cumbersome, but important: it might take us a couple of hours to reach you - and hypothermia won’t wait.
4: Don’t hesitate to reach out for help…before you need it. Dial 911, which gives us your location, and be put in touch with our team. We can help steer you in the right direction and start moving towards you if it seems like you’ll need a rescue.

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