On 5-13-01 VM was descending the Tuckerman Ravine trail, above Tuckerman Ravine, on snowshoes. She lost her footing just above the Lip and tumbled into the Ravine, falling into a crevasse. VM was upright in the crevasse about 30′ below the surface. She was able to reach down and remove her snowshoes. Snow Rangers and members of the MWVSP lowered a harness into the crevasse. VM was able to get into the harness on her own and she was then extricated from the crevasse. VM was lowered to the floor of the ravine where she was treated for hypothermia and an injured ankle. VM was able to walk with assistance from the ravine to the Snow Rangers cabin at Hermit Lake. At the cabin she was warmed up and her ankle taped. She was then put in a litter and taken down the Sherburne Ski trail to Pinkham Notch.
VM was descending an area she was unfamiliar with on snowshoes. Snowshoeing in steep terrain can be difficult and dangerous. Snowshoes don’t allow you to “edge” in hard steep terrain. They actually act as boats making a fall in steep terrain fast and uncontrollable. Always be aware of the hazards you may encounter. In Tuckerman Ravine in the spring you can expect to find crevasses, undermined snow and falling ice. Therefore, in this area it is best to climb up what you plan to come down so you will be familiar with the hazards you will encounter.
VM had the necessary equipment for a day hike except her clothing was mostly cotton. When cotton gets wet it stays wet, it is best to have synthetic clothing such as polypropylene and fleece to help reduce the chance of hypothermia.
Personnel Used: USFS-3 MWVSP-6 Volunteers-3
The rescue effort took approximately 5 hours total.