Tuesday, January 10
WILLIAMSTOWN — Rescue crews carried a distressed hiker away from the Mount Greylock State Reservation on a freezing Saturday evening.

A cell-phone call shortly after 5 p.m. alerted police that Heather Wilson, 43, of Hartford, Conn., was unable to continue hiking on the Hopper Trail with a group of people.

Rescuers from the Williamstown Police and Fire departments, Village Ambulance Service and the Pownal (Vt.) Fire Department established a temporary command post at the base of the trail, said Police Chief Kyle Johnson.

They discovered Wilson nearly one-quarter of a mile up the trail.

She was suffering from extreme fatigue and possible hypothermia, police reports stated, and the Village Ambulance Service transported her to North Adams Regional Hospital for treatment.

"Rescue would probably be too strong a word," Johnson said yesterday. "(Wilson) wasn't moved a great distance."

The effort didn't require a helicopter or snowmobiles, and Wilson was carried out by emergency medical technicians.

"We don't have (rescues) there very often," said a spokeswoman for Village Ambulance Services. "It was the first one this winter."

The state Department of Conservation and Recreation defines the Hopper Trail as "strenuous."

Sections of the Hopper Trail follow alongside the "Hopper," a part of the reservation that resembles a funnel-shaped container.


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Hypothermia, a potentially fatal condition caused by a progressive loss of body temperature, slows or diminishes body functions.

Winter safety tips provided by the state reservation's Web site indicate that hypothermia could develop whenever wind-chill temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit and a person becomes wet from precipitation or sweat.

According to the Weather Channel, the temperature in the Williamstown area during the rescue was about 24 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wilson was treated and released from the hospital.