2005-2006 Summaries

 

12-3-2005: A party of three was hiking in Huntington Ravine, approaching O’Dell’s Gully when one of the individuals was knocked off his feet by a wind gust. He was unable to self arrest and slid and tumbled approximately 400’ into the rocks. The victim’s partners got him down the slope on two lowers. Then one of the partners ran down to the Harvard Mountaineering Club cabin to report the accident. Forest Service Snow Rangers were notified and additional rescue resources were called to the mountain. The victim was placed in a litter and carried down the Huntington winter access trail to the Tuckerman Ravine trail and over to the Sherburne ski trail where the litter was then slid down the trail to Pinkham and a waiting ambulance. The victim suffered facial injuries, fractures in both arms and a dislocated shoulder. Personnel from Mountain Rescue Service, Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue, the Harvard Mountaineering Club, and the Appalachian Mountain Club worked wi th the Snow Rangers on this rescue. The rescue took a total of 34 people and 7.5 hours to complete

1-22-2006 The victim was performing a seated glissade with crampons on in Huntington Ravine. Once he moved from soft new snow to the older hard icy surface he lost control and began cartwheeling. He tumbled about 150 to 200 feet before stopping in the rocks. Students from Lyndon State College were in the area and assisted the victim and called 911. The Gorham Ambulance service was called who relayed the information to the Forest Service Snow Rangers. Additional rescue resources were called. The victim was placed in a litter and lowered 600′ down the Fan, slid to the Sherburne ski trail where he was placed on the USFS snowcat. Due to icy conditions on the ski trail, the litter was belayed down the two lower hills and slid to a waiting ambulance. The victim suffered three fractured vertebrae, broken ribs, hand and ankle. This rescue took 22 people approximately 4.5 hours to complete.

1-28-2006 The victim was sledding on the Sherburne Ski Trail when he went off the trail and hit a tree. Forest Service Snow Rangers were contacted and responded. The victim was complaining of pain in his back, shoulder and leg. He was put on a backboard and transported down the Sherburne in a tobaggon behind a snow machine. He was treated at the hospital for a broken humeral head. This rescue took 3 people 2 1/2 hours to complete.

2-11-2006 The victim was glissading in Tuckerman Ravine while wearing crampons. His crampon caught in the snow and he twisted his ankle. He made his way to Hermit Lake where he sought assistance from Forest Service Snow Rangers. He was transported to Pinkham in the USFS snowcat. This rescue took 1 person 1 hour.

2-16-2006 The victim was snowboarding in the Chute when he fell. He attempted to self arrest with his ice axe. During this attempt the adze of the ice axe impacted his face near the eye resulting in a laceration. He self rescued to Hermit Lake where he met Forest Service Snow Rangers. They bandaged him and gave him a ride on a snow machine down to Pinkham. He sought medical treatment and received numerous stitches. This rescue took 2 people 1.5 hours.

2-25-2006 The vicim was glissading in Tuckerman Ravine while wearing crampons. His crampon caught on the snow and he injured his ankle. His friends assisted him to Hermit Lake where they sought help from Forest Service Snow Rangers. The Snow Rangers assessed his injury and splinted his ankle. He was transported to Pinkham via the USFS snowcat. This rescue took 2 people 1 hour.

Comments:

This is the third incident this season of glissading with crampons on that resulted in an injury. This is one of the most common yet preventable injuries we see on the mountain. Glissading with crampons should never be attempted. If you want to glissade take the time to remove your crampons.

3-11-2006 The victim was hiking on the Tuckerman Ravine trail near the base of the Ravine when he slipped and fell on ice and broke his right clavicle. The victim was attended to by the Mount Washinton Volunteer Ski Patrol and then given a ride in the USFS Snowcat to Pinkham. This incident took 2 people 2 hours to complete.

3-11-2006 The victim and his partner had completed an ice climb of Pinnacle gully and were descending the southern rim of Huntington Ravine, looking for the Escape Hatch. They missed the Escape Hatch and proceeded beyond Frog Rock before bushwhacking down an old slide path. About half way down the victim post-holed and injured his leg. His partner continued bushwhacking down to the Huntington Ravine trail and reported the accident to the Harvard Mountaineering Club Caretaker. The Caretaker notified the Forest Service Snow Rangers. With the assistance from multiple climbers and local guides he was belayed down in a litter. Snow Rangers met up with this adhoc rescue team as they reached non-technical terrain and assisted with the carry out to the trail. He was then placed in a sled behind a snow machine and transported to Pinkham to a waiting ambulance. The victim suffered a tib/fib fracture. This rescue took 24 people around 2.5 hours to complete.

4-1-2006 The victim was hiking down the Tuckerman Ravine trail to Hermit Lake when she slipped on ice and fell. She dropped her snowboard which then resulted in an injury to her right thumb. She sought assistance from the Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol at Hermit Lake. Her thumb was splinted and she walked out to Pinkham on her own. This incident took 1 person 15 minutes.

Comments:

The following four incidents occurred within an hour of each other. We feel very fortunate that the injuries were relatively minor because the potential for devasting results was there. The previous day we received rain on the snowpack which then froze overnight. Conditions in Hillman’s Highway were very hardpack, icy and unforgiving. Skiers and riders should think twice about venturing onto slopes when conditions are such that without an ice axe you will not be able to stop a fall. One of the victims that fell was wearing snowshoes. Snowshoes are great for deep snow in rolling terrain but they are not intended for steep icy gully climbing. The snowshoe crampon system is designed to float over snow, not ice climb. Having the appropriate equipment for the terrain is essential for being safe in the mountains. Know your equipment, the advantages and limitations before you venture out into the backcountry.

4-2-2006 The victim was snowboarding down Hillman’s Highway when he lost his edge and fell. He tumbled head over heals then was heading face first when he went over a rock drop off. He went approximately 200′ before he was able to stop himself by grabbing onto a clump of bushes. The victim sought assistance from the Forest Service and was treated by the Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol. He had numerous abrasions and a possible concussion. The victim was able to walk out to Pinkham with his friends. This incident took 2 people 1/2 hour.

4-2-2006 The victim was attempting to ski Hillman’s Highway when he lost his edge and took a long sliding fall, approximately 1200′. He suffered lacerations and abrasions to his hands and face. He sought medical attention from the Forest Service and was treated by the Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol. He was able to walk out to Pinkham with his friends. This incident took 2 people 1 hour.

4-2-2006 The victim snowshoed up Hillman’s Highway and attempted to glissade down when he lost control. He took a long, high-speed fall the length of the gully, hitting rocks along the way. He suffered a dislocated shoulder and numerous abrasions to the face and his left side. He was treated by members of the Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol. He was able to walk to Pinkham on his own. This incident took 2 people 1 hour.

4-2-2006 The victim had made 5 or 6 turns at the top Hillman’s Highway when he lost his edge and fell. He was unable to stop himself and fell the length of the gully, approximately 1200′. He sought assistance from the Forest Service and was treated by the Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol for numerous abrasions. He was able to walk to Pinkham. This incident took 2 people 1/2 hour.

4-9-2006 The victim was skiing the Lip when she fell. She sustained an injury to her left knee in the sliding fall. She was treated by members of the Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol. She was able to hobble out from the Bowl to Hermit Lake where she was then transported to Pinkham on a snow machine by a USFS Snow Ranger. This incident took 4 people 1 1/2 hours to complete.

4-22-2006 The victim was skiing the Lip when he fell. He tumbled approximately 800′ and sustained a dislocated shoulder and abrasions to his arms. He was treated by a member of the Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol and a USFS Snow Ranger. The victim was able to walk out to Pinkham on his own. This incident took 2 people 1 hour.

4-22-2006 The victim was skiing the Chute when he fell. He tumbled approximately 500′ and sustained a possible concussion and numerous facial abrasions. He was treated by members of the Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol and a USFS Snow Ranger. The victim was able to walk out to Pinkham on his own. This incident took 2 people 1 hour.

4-22-2006 The victim was skiing the Lip when he lost control and fell about 800′. He sustained an injury to his shoulder. He was treated by a member of the Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol and a USFS Snow Ranger. The victim walked out to Pinkham with friends. This incident took 2 people 1/2 hour.

4-22-2006 The victim was skiing in the Chute when he slipped on the hard packed snow and fell. His face impacted ice and he sustained bruising and numerous abrasions. He was treated by a member of the Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol and a USFS Snow Ranger. The victim was able to walk out to Pinkham on his own. This incident took 2 people 1 hour.

4-22-2006 The victim was skiing in the Chute when he fell and slid several hundred feet which resulted in a fractured clavicle. He was treated by members of the Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol. The victim was able to walk out to Pinkham. This incident took two people 1 hour

4-22-2006 The victim was skiing the Lip when he fell. He tumbled head over heals about 800′ receiving a considerable amount of facial abrasions. He was treated by a member of the Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol and a USFS Snow Ranger. The victim was able to walk out to Pinkham on his own. This incident took two people 1 hour.

4-22-2006 The victim was boarding on the Lip when she fell approximately 800′. She complained of pain in her wrist and sustained abrasions to her back. She was treated by a USFS Snow Ranger. She was able to walk out to Pinkham on her own. This incident took 1 person 1 hour.

4-22-2006 The victim was skiing the Lip when he fell. He tumbled head over heals about 800′ receiving a considerable amount of facial abrasions. He was treated by members of the Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol. The victim walked out to Pinkham with friends. This incident took 3 people 1/2 hour.

4-22-2006 The victim was boarding on the Lip when he fell approximately 800′. He sustained numerous abrasions to the face. He was treated by a USFS Snow Ranger. He was able to walk to Pinkham on his own. This incident took 1 person 1 hour.

4-29-2006 The victim was a small dog who was at Gum Drop rocks with his owner when a runaway snowboard came out of the Chute. The dog was hit by the snowboard and suffered a laceration to his front left shoulder. A USFS Snow Ranger assessed the dog, packed his wound and applied a compression bandage. The remorseful owner of the snowboard assisted the dog owner by carrying his equipment so the dog owner could carry his dog off the mountain and paid for the anticipated vet bill. We add this incident here to remind folks that it is not only us humans that can get hurt in the backcountry.

4-29-2006 The victim fell approximately 500′ while skiing in the Chute and collided with another person’s ski equipment. The victim sustained a laceration on his head and an avulsion on his right forearm. He was treated by members of the Mount Washinton Volunteer Ski Patrol and was able to walk out to Pinkham on his own. This incident took 2 people 1 hour.

4-29-2006 The victim fell while skiing on the left side of the Headwall. She somesaulted and fell approximately 100′ injuring her right knee. She was able to make it to Lunch Rocks where she rested and put ice on her knee. While walking out of the Ravine her knee became very swollen and she had difficulty walking. She sought assistance from the Mount Washinton Volunteer Ski Patrol. Her knee was assessed and it was determined she would most likely not be able to walk out to Pinkham. Her knee was bandaged and her leg imobilized. She was transported in a litter down to Pinkham. This incident took 10 people 1 1/2 hours to complete.

4-30-2006 The victim was above treeline, hiking on the Lion Head trail. He stepped on a rock and rolled his ankle suffering a broken fibula. A member of his party went ahead to Hermit Lake to report the accident. A USFS Snow Ranger received the report at7:15pm. Members from the Mount Washinton Volunteer Ski Patrol, Appalachian Mountain Club and the Mountain Rescue Service responded to assist the Forest Service in getting the victim off the mountain. The victim was put in a litter, and lowered on 3 traverse belays across the snowfield on the hiking trail and then numerous short belays down the rest of the Lion Head trail to the Tuckerman Ravine trail. He was then taken to Hermit Lake and the litter was sledded down the Sherburne Ski Trail. The victim was off the mountain by 1:30am. This rescue took 10 people 5 1/2 hours to complete.

5-19-2006 The victims were part of a group of 35 students who set out to climb to the summit of Mt. Washington during a torrential rain storm. Due to thick fog, two of the hikers wandered off the trail and followed ski tracks into Raymond’s Cataract. When the group realized they were lost, they called for help on their cell phone. Four members of the party stayed behind to search while the rest of the group headed down to Pinkham. In the search, the party of four got separated. Two found the missing victims and headed down. The AMC caretaker went up the Lion Head trail to assist and search for the remaining two searchers of the group. The remaining two arrived at Pinkham Notch 30 minutes later. This incident took 3 people 1.5 hours to complete.

5-28-2006 The victim was skiing in the Chute when he was struck on the head and hand by a falling rock. He suffered a soft tissue injury to his right hand. He was assisted by a member of the Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol and a USFS Snow Ranger. This incident took two people 1/2 hour to complete.