If you’re a New Englander and you’re a skier then you know about Tuckerman’s Ravine. It’s a rite of passage for skiers. If you don’t want to ski, it’s a day well spent watching the skiers from the lunch rocks. Unfortunately not all runs end with a smile. Here’s the latest from this Memorial Day weekend. Daymond Steer writes in The Conway Daily Sun:
The Coast Guard was called to Mount Washington on Sunday to airlift an injured skier who had collided with rocks at Tuckerman Ravine.
According to a blog post by Mount Washington Avalanche Center Lead Snow Ranger Frank Carus, at about 1:20 p.m. Sunday, a Mount Washington volunteer ski patroller radioed to say that a skier had taken a “sliding fall” down a 35-degree snow slope onto a patch of rocky ground.
A group of skiers who happened to be there began rendering aid.
One of them used an Inreach Satellite communicator to alert New Hampshire State Police and the Department of Fish and Game of the incident. The ski patroller determined the man needed “immediate evacuation,” said Carus.
The accident occurred when the skier and his son “climbed to the highest point of snow remaining, and the father slipped, sliding 400 feet or more into the jagged rocks currently exposed adjacent to the Tuckerman Ravine Trail, known as ‘Lunch Rocks,'” said Carus. “The pair was not wearing crampons, which can be insurance against hard snow or obscured icy patches.”
Fish and Game identified the injured man as James Shanley, 68, of Montpelier, Vt. Shanley was reportedly hiking up the ravine with his son before their third ski run.
At about 2:45 p.m., Gorham EMS ambulance and UTV headed up Sherbune Ski Trail to the patient while the ski patrol and a snow ranger used a litter and belay ropes to move him toward Hermit Lake.
“Weather factors made local air ambulance services unable to fly, but the U.S. Coast Guard 1st District was available for the mission,” said Carus, who said the helicopter departed Weymouth, Mass., at 3:45 p.m..
“At 5 p.m., under a low ceiling at 4,500 feet, a Coast Guard Jayhawk arrived at Hermit Lake and hoisted the patient and a paramedic for the flight to the Level 1 trauma center in Portland.”
Action Line: Always be prepared for the terrain with the proper equipment.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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