USFS and MWVSP responded to an injured skier being transported from the base of Lunch Rocks sitting on a snowboard provided by volunteers who were sitting at Lunch Rocks. Bystanders were directed to continue to transport the subject to a location away from ice fall hazard. Patient had fallen without binding release and sustained a lower leg injury. USFS and an AMC Caretaker assisted the patient to Hermit Lake where he was transferred to a litter and snowmobile drawn sled. Patient was driven to the Tuck trail/Fire Road junction where transport to PNVC continued with the assistance of two climbers descending from Pinnacle Gully.
At approximately 1600, Snow Rangers received word via radio that a skier with a laceration was being treated on the Sherburne Ski Trail. Snow Rangers and MWVSP members responded to find that the patient had been treated and the wound properly dressed by a recreating ski patroller and was being transported down the trail in a sled or on a snowboard. Interviews revealed that the subject had received a full depth laceration around 8” long just above the knee after falling in the wet, slushy snow. The person skiing behind her was following too closely and no doubt learned a harsh but important lesson about the need for safe following distances and controlled skiing in a backcountry environment.
This was a very busy day in the ravine, in part because it was the first Saturday this season with really nice spring weather. The first incident was a dislocated shoulder resulting from a fall in Left Gully. After an unsuccessful attempted to reduce the dislocation, the patient and his party were able to walk themselves out from the ravine.
Shortly after the first, a skier fell in the Sluice area, resulting in a lower leg injury. Within minutes of this fall, another skier fell in the Lip, suffering a significant head laceration. Both patients were evacuated by Snow Rangers, the MWVSP, the AMC caretaker, and a large number of volunteers.
The fourth incident was sustained on the lower part of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail. A hiker punctured his lower leg on a broken branch when stepping off the trail. He was able to continue hiking.
A skier suffered a lower leg injury while descending the Tuckerman Ravine trail on skis. He and his partner had been skiing the Cutler River streambed, and had bushwacked back to the hiking trail due to thick vegetation. They were working toward a crossover to the Sherburne Ski Trail when he caught his ski tip on the edge of the trail. Snow Rangers were in the vicinity at the time of the accident, and found the skier on the side of the trail. They transported him to the base, from here he was transported to the hospital in his partner’s vehicle.
A skier was injured while booting up the Chute when he attempted to stop another falling skier. The patient suffered a 2″ laceration to the left ear. MWVSP members treated and released the patient. The falling skier was uninjured.
A skier fell near the top of the Chute, slid to about the Narrows and then “log-rolled” before finally stopping about 200′ above and right Gumdrop Rocks. Witnesses reported that the skier, who was skiing for his first time in Tuckerman Ravine, took about 2 turns and pre-released from the binding of one ski. Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol members and USFS Snow Rangers responded, treated and packaged the patient who was unconscious and seizing on arrival. It is unclear whether or not he impacted any rocks during the fall.
Due to the presentation of symptoms and the calm winds, a helicopter evacuation was ordered. Lifeflight of Maine, flying out of Bangor, transported the patient to Maine Med in Portland. The ability to fly into Tuckerman Ravine is very unusual due to the preponderance of days with turbulence, high winds, limited visibility, limited landing options or all four factors at once. Fortunately, a relatively limited number of skiers were in the bowl, which reduced the risk and consequence of mishap with the helicopter.
A skier fell near the bottom of the East Snowfields, on the summit cone of Mt. Washington. He told us that his ski contacted a hidden rock buried beneath a thin amount of snow. This caused him to fall, which sent him over the top of a large rock and he landed on a pile of more rocks. A friend of the skier notified personnel at the Mount Washington State Park, who contacted USFS Snow Rangers in Tuckerman Ravine. The skier was splinted for a pelvic injury, and then packaged for evacuation. He was hauled uphill in a rescue litter to the Auto Road. A large number of skiers assisted with the hauling operation, as well as State Park and USFS personnel. He was transported down the Auto Road in a State Park vehicle, to an ambulance at the base.
2:30pm: Skier fell while skiing Right Gully. He suffered a blow to his calf muscle causing significant swelling. This person was assessed, treated, and transported to Pinkham by snowmobile.
A 44 year old male was skiing in the Lower Snowfields of Tuckerman Ravine when he hit a section of “boilerplate” snow. He slid head-first into the trees suffering a shoulder dislocation and leg injury before coming to rest. He was treated by the USFS Snow Rangers and members of the MWVSP, transported to Pinkham Notch via USFS snow tractor, and transferred to an ambulance.
A 22 year old male snowboarder sustained a laceration to his shin during a fall in the Lip. He apparently fell hard enough to pull his feet out of his boots, which remained firmly attached in his bindings. We believe it was the snowboard that caused the 2” laceration. He was provided bandages by a local guide who was skiing with his children that day and a physician walked with him to the top of the Little Headwall where he was met by a USFS Snow Ranger. He walked down from Hermit Lake under his own power.