Hiker Broken Fibula

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.

Skier Fall – Headwall

The victim fell while skiing on the left side of the Headwall. She somersaulted 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 immobilized. She was transported in a litter down to Pinkham. This incident took 10 people 1 1/2 hours to complete.

Skier Fall – Chute

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.

Dog – Hit by Snowboard

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.

Snowboarder Fall -Lip

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.

Skier Fall -Lip

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.

Chute – Skier Fall

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.

Sliding Fall- Lip

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.

Sliding Fall, Hillman’s Highway

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.

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.

Sliding Fall. Glissading Hillman’s Highway

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.

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.