March 3, 2008

A group of mountaineers were glissading the Lion Head Winter Route when one of them lost control and fell down approximately 75-100 feet through the trees to the bottom of the steep section of trail. Along the way he hit some trees and came to a stop against a large stump. USFS Snow Rangers were notified of the incident by a hiker who had been sent to Hermit Lake to get help. Although below the steepest section of trail, the patient was found in terrain sufficiently steep to warrant belaying the litter downhill until the flat section of trail. From here he was sledded to the junction of the Winter Route and the Huntington Ravine Winter Access Trail, then transported via snowmobile and haul sled to Pinkham Notch Visitor Center. The Winter Route is a steep mountaineering route which requires the ability to self arrest in the event of a fall. Glissading was a reasonable descent option given the soft snow conditions on this day; however, one should never glissade at a speed beyond his or her ability to self arrest.