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Injured Hiker – Lion Head

The victim was descending the Lion Head winter route when another hiker fell and slid into him. This caused the victim to fall and twist his left knee. He was able to make his way to Hermit Lake where he was attended to by the Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol. He was transported to Pinkham by a USFS Snow Ranger via snowmobile. This incident took 2 people 1 hour.

Crampon Injury

The victim was descending from the summit at approximately 3:15pm when he tripped after catching a crampon, injuring his right leg. He was assisted by his guide until a litter arrived. He was lowered down the Lion Head trail by the guide, the HMC and AMC caretakers, a USFS Snow Ranger and volunteers. He was then taken by snowcat to Pinkham and a waiting ambulance. The victim suffered a broken tibia and fibula and a dislocated ankle of the right leg. This rescue took 11 people 5 hours.

Hiking Crampon Injury

The victim was hiking up the Right Gully wearing crampons (and had no ice axe) when he fell. He caught his crampon in the fall twisting his ankle. He was lowered down the slope on a 300′ static rope by the MWVSP and a USFS Snow Ranger and put in a litter on the floor of the ravine. He was then carried down to Pinkham by a group of volunteers and taken by ambulance to the hospital. This rescue took 24 people and 4 hours (46.5 person hours) to complete. The victim reported back that he had broken his ankle and had a plate and 5 screws installed.

Hiker Becomes Ill

The victim and partner were camping out on the Summit cone when she became ill during the night. The next day they determined she was too weak to descend on her own and around 9:15 am they called 911 on their cell phone requesting assistance. Due to incorrect information and weather conditions, searchers did not find the two until about 1:45 pm. The victim was assisted down the Lion Head Winter Route and was then transported to Pinkham by the USFS snowcat. The rescue took 8 people and 9 hours to complete. Cell phones should not be relied upon when in the mountains. Rescuers were not able to contact the victim’s cell phone and the location information that was given was not correct so it took hours to find the victims.

Dislocated open thumb fracture

The victim was hiking down to hermit Lake from the ravine when he fell. He suffered a dislocated open thumb fracture. A member of the Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol met him on the trail and rendered assistance, taping his thumb. The victim then walked down to Pinkham and transported himself to Androscoggin Valley Hospital.

Twisted Ankle

The victim was descending the Lion Head trail (near the top of Right Gully) when she twisted her ankle. She was assisted down the Lion Head Winter trail by her companions and was met by a USFS Snow Ranger and a member of the Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol at the junction of the Lion Head trail and the Huntington Winter Access trail. She was assisted into the USFS Snowcat and transported to Pinkham. The rescue took 2 people 1 hour.

Injured Hiker – Lion Head

The victim was descending the Winter Lion Head trail when he slipped and fell approximately 20-25 feet. He banged his shoulder into a protruding tree branch. A 911 call was received at the Snow Rangers Quarters at the same time a witness stopped at the AMC caretaker cabin to report the accident. USFS Snow Rangers, AMC personnel and members of the Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol responded. They belayed him down the remainder of the steep section of the Lion Head trail to the waiting USFS snowcat. From there he was transported to Pinkham. The rescue took 4 people 4 hours.

Crampon – Twisted Ankle

The victim was descending on the Lion Head Winter Route when he caught a crampon on a tree and twisted his ankle. His companions helped him to the Hermit Lake Shelters where he was then transported to Pinkham in the USFS Snowcat. The rescue took 3 people about 2 hours to perform.

Hiking Injury – Fall Tuckerman Ravine

On 4-13-01 BL and his two companions AF and AB were descending via the Lion Head trail. It was near 11:00 pm when, in the darkness and limited visibility due to blowing snow, BL fell off the trail into Tuckerman Ravine. His companions descended to find him. He was located after a ten-minute search due to the fact that his head lamp stayed on. BL was initially unresponsive when his companions found him. AF continued to Hermit Lake to seek assistance from the Hermit Lake Caretaker. At 11:30pm AB and BL arrived at Hermit Lake. BL was complaining about pressure around his eyes, had a 1-2” laceration on his head, and a very swollen face. Due to the unknown distance of his fall precautions where taken to immobilize his spine. He was put on a backboard, given oxygen, loaded into the Forest Service snowcat and transported to Pinkham. He was taken by ambulance to Memorial Hospital in Conway, NH.

Comments

Route finding at night can be very difficult in the best of circumstances let alone in darkness with white-out conditions. Plan your day to ensure enough daylight for your hike. Have a turn around time in mind of when you will abandon you hike up in order to make it down safely. If you end up in dark and windy conditions, resist the temptation to put your back to the wind. Bring a map and compass and go the direction you are supposed to go, not the way that is most comfortable.

Personnel Used USFS – 1 AMC – 2

The rescue effort took approximately 1 3/4 hours total.

Injured Hiker – Lion Head

The victim was descending the Winter Lion Head Trail when he stumbled and fell off the trail. He suffered a possible broken right leg. Victim’s leg was splinted by the Harvard Mountain Club Caretaker. He was placed in a litter and transported to Pinkham where he was then picked up by an ambulance and transported to the hospital. The rescue took 6 people approximately 3 hours to perform.

Twisted Ankle

Vicitim was running down the Tuckerman Ravine trail when he twisted his ankle on the rocks. Vicitim suffered a sprain or possibly a fracture of the ankle. He was attended to by two members of the Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol and physicians who were friends of the victim. He was put in a litter and sledded down to Pinkham. The rescue took approximately 10 people and 2 hours.