A 22-year-old man was seriously injured over the weekend after slipping and falling while hiking up Tuckerman Ravine on Mt. Washington, NH.
Ian Brown was ascending on Saturday in an attempt to snowboard down the popular backcountry spring skiing area when he slipped and fell a significant distance, according to authorities in New Hampshire.
A doctor who was also hiking the ravine was able to help Brown with his injuries before he was taken to a hospital in nearby Conway.
New Hampshire Fish and Game officials said that Brown and his group were not prepared for the conditions.
“Officers determined that Mr. Brown and the group with him were not experienced ‘back-country’ snowboarders and did not have some necessary safety equipment that would have likely saved Mr. Brown from injury including micro-spikes and self-arrest gear.”
– New Hampshire Fish and Game statement
Mount Washington, called Agiocochook by some Native American tribes, is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States at 6,288.2 ft (1,916.6 m) and the most topographically prominent mountain east of the Mississippi River.
The mountain is notorious for its erratic weather. On the afternoon of April 12, 1934, the Mount Washington Observatory recorded a wind speed of 231 miles per hour (372 km/h) at the summit, the world record from 1934 until 1996. Mount Washington still holds the record for the highest measured wind speed not associated with a tornado or tropical cyclone.
Tuckerman Ravine is a glacial cirque sloping eastward on the southeast face of Mt. Washington, in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Although it draws hikers throughout the year, and skiers throughout the winter, it is best known for the many “spring skiers” who ascend it on foot and ski down the steep slope from early April into July. In this period, the temperatures are relatively mild but the natural snowpack — which averages up to 55 feet (17 m) in a typical winter — is still adequate to ski most seasons. The record-setting high winds atop Mount Washington scour a massive amount of snow from the surrounding highlands and drop it here or in the adjacent Huntington Ravine.