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  1. #1

    Default June 13 death on Mt. Washington

    NH Fish and Game Press Release:

    NH Fish and Game Law Enforcement Division and Operation Game Thief
    PRESS RELEASE
    June 14, 2019
    Hiker Dies After Attempting to Ascend Tuckerman Ravine Trail
    Sargent’s Purchase – A New Jersey woman died after suffering an unknown medical condition while ascending the Tuckerman Ravine Trail in Sargent’s Purchase on Thursday June 13, 2019.
    Officials say that Sandra Lee, 63, of Mount Tabor, NJ was hiking with two other family members while attempting to summit Mount Washington from Pinkham Notch Visitors Center.
    A Member of Lee’s hiking group called 911 at approximately 2:25 pm when they got above the junction of Lion Head Trail and Tuckerman Ravine Trail. The call was made due to Lee exhibiting what appeared to be signs and symptoms of hypothermia and could no longer continue to move under her own power.
    Fish and Game Conservation Officers responded to the emergency call and requested assistance from NH State Parks staff, based on the summit of Mount Washington. Parks staff started down Tuckerman Trail to give assistance and assess the situation further as Conservation Officers responded.
    When Park staff arrived on the scene, they gave warm and dry clothing to all three members of the hiking party. This was necessary due to conditions on the summit being below freezing with a wind-chill of 12 degrees Fahrenheit, 60 mph sustaining winds while rain and dense fog created ice.
    After receiving the warm and dry clothing, Lee’s family members were assisted up the trail by one Park staff member, to a summit building to get even warmer. The other Park staff member stayed with Lee with hopes to warm her up, as she was no longer mobile but still alive.
    When Conservation Officers arrived at the summit, they hiked down the trail to Lee and quickly carried Lee by “piggy back” approximately .2 miles up the Tuckerman Trail to the junction with the Auto Road. Lee was then driven down the Auto Road to a waiting Gorham Ambulance. Gorham Ambulance transported Lee to Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin for treatment.
    Unfortunately, despite all efforts Lee did not survive and was pronounced deceased at the hospital.




  2. #2

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    And a second person had to be evacuated from Mt. Washington last night. https://www.unionleader.com/news/saf...994268f73.html

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrum View Post
    And a second person had to be evacuated from Mt. Washington last night. https://www.unionleader.com/news/saf...994268f73.html
    What is wrong with people???

    Who hikes ahead and leaves a 80 yr old family member behind?

    Or, a mother.

    Or anyone else they went with.......


    He should cut them out of his will...

  4. #4

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    Most people who head up there have no clue. You can tell them not go, but you can't stop them. The remarkable thing is that more people don't die in these hills.

    I actually drove by Pinkham Notch yesterday about that time. I do seem to remember there being a rain squall as I was going over the notch. Otherwise it was a nice day in the valley. Which is often the case. Wind with passing rain showers today. I was just thinking this morning that being up above tree line the last few days would not be enjoyable. Summits are currently still in the clouds. More rain Sunday and Tuesday. Just great.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    Ive been peakbaggin in the whites the past few weekends and although I keep to myself I have already noticed the inexperienced hikers doing dumb things in dangerous places.

    Like someone else said. Its surprising more people dont die in these hills.

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  6. #6

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    It's been cold up here. I'm about 60 miles south of Mt Washington today headed NOBO. Moose, Smarts and Cube were cold and windy at the peaks, yet quite tolerable down lower. June 13 was a low point for the temps. Ice forming on Mt Washington that day? Crazy. Still hiking with winter gear. Will keep it for a while.

  7. #7

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    Before the advent of guided tourist climbing on Everest, Mt. Washington was the most deadly mountain on Earth. Obviously this was largely a proximity thing, but not altogether.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  8. #8
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    It was nasty day on the summits on thursday when the accident happened. The trails from the east side of the mountain are sheltered from winds and incoming weather. The wind exposure can change in a 50 yards on Lions Head trail and Tuckermans Ravine trail. In both cases the summit building is within sight and many folks wrongly assume that ts easier and quicker to head to the summit in bad conditions and somehow get a ride down. Unfortunately the wind exposure increases exponentially as the trail wraps around the southerly side of the summit.

    Do note that the number of fatalities on Mt Washington is hyped, it includes any fatalities within a fairly broad area bounded by 4 major highways. It includes folks dying of heart attacks on the auto road and cog railroad, plane crashes and suicides.

    My observation in recent years are there are lot more poorly equipped family groups on the popular trails.

  9. #9

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    My daughter hiked the Jewell trail on Monday the 10th. It was one of the first warm days, and she chose Washington over her planned hike (Moriah/Carter maybe? I forget) which had posthole monorail conditions reported in the shade. There was a "preparedness tent" at the base, staffed by volunteers/workers, and they were calling out to certain potential hikers who walked by. The Jewell trail was dry and wonderful. She had carried up cold weather gear and equipment with her anyway.

    At the top she was dumbfounded by the number of hikers who were shivering and in line to buy Mt. Washington branded sweatshirts, because they had no additional layers with them from the base. A few of them had hiked up without water. So, either these folks went up early before the preparedness tent was set up, or they just bypassed the tent.

    She's training for a marathon, but she hiked fast, in boots as opposed to running. She said there were quite a few families on the trail and older men who seemed to be resentful that they were getting passed, and a few had to be asked firmly to allow her to pass. Overall, she just got the impression that there were a whole lot of "new to hiking" people on Mt. Washington compared to the rest of the NH 48.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Puddlefish View Post
    Overall, she just got the impression that there were a whole lot of "new to hiking" people on Mt. Washington compared to the rest of the NH 48.
    That's always been the case, especially with the Jewel trail.

    Todays forecast isn't too good either. 40-50 mph wind with gusts up to 80 mph later this afternoon, wind chill in the teens. Chance of showers and thunderstorms.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  11. #11

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    Know before you go. I feel awful for their families but ya gotta be smart!!

  12. #12

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    Sadly, the Whites are underestimated yet again. People just don't believe those big yellow signs at Pinkham.
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

  13. #13

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    Possible charge against family who left 80 year old behind:
    https://www.unionleader.com/news/saf...iQgVlTm3dF42OY

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrum View Post
    Possible charge against family who left 80 year old behind:
    https://www.unionleader.com/news/saf...iQgVlTm3dF42OY
    GOOD! That would be great. Maybe they should face criminal charges as well. What kind of person leaves a RELATIVE, never mind an 80 YEAR OLD RELATIVE, alone on a hike? Or hell! any hiking partner?! I'm not saying a couple young healthy people need to hike in lockstep but my hiking partners and I would have each waited for the other at the summit, at the very least. And never would we have started descending another route without knowing the other was clear to summit and knew exactly where we would be descending.
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by PennyPincher View Post
    GOOD! That would be great. Maybe they should face criminal charges as well. What kind of person leaves a RELATIVE, never mind an 80 YEAR OLD RELATIVE, alone on a hike? Or hell! any hiking partner?! I'm not saying a couple young healthy people need to hike in lockstep but my hiking partners and I would have each waited for the other at the summit, at the very least. And never would we have started descending another route without knowing the other was clear to summit and knew exactly where we would be descending.
    Exactly. Looks like he managed a 3 mile, 3,000 foot ascent, which is fairly impressive, but still, that's along steep solo descent for someone too tired/cold to continue.

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    I realized the 48 are a lost cause when I'm the one who gets weird looks going up on a busy day.

    Like why does that guy have a pack? He has TWO water bottles. Are those soda bottles?What is that stick lashed to his pack? He's wearing SNEAKERS! What's those stupid things covering his socks? Is that a rain jacket in the back of his pack? Doesnt this guy know it's Sunny! Is he filling his water bottle up from a stream! He must of not brought enough. Running shorts! Cargo pants are what mountain men wear...

    Same looks. Every time nowadays.

    In my mind im processing the copious amounts of Levi Jeans, sticks as trekking poles, and untied work boots with hanes cotton socks. And dont forget the speakers blaring nowadays.

    Trail Etiquette is nonexistent. And ive had to swallow my words once or twice. Im not one to spend every day hike preaching trail etiquette and coming off as the know it all either.

    People dont move. People dont give right aways. People dont respect the environment.

    I had a long talk with a usfs ranger on greenleaf hut the other day too about trail runners in the whites. Doing crazy stuff with no way to take care of themselves if they were to trip on of the millions of rocks on these trails.



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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastfoxengineering View Post
    I realized the 48 are a lost cause when I'm the one who gets weird looks going up on a busy day.

    Like why does that guy have a pack? He has TWO water bottles. Are those soda bottles?What is that stick lashed to his pack? He's wearing SNEAKERS! What's those stupid things covering his socks? Is that a rain jacket in the back of his pack? Doesnt this guy know it's Sunny! Is he filling his water bottle up from a stream! He must of not brought enough. Running shorts! Cargo pants are what mountain men wear...

    Same looks. Every time nowadays.

    In my mind im processing the copious amounts of Levi Jeans, sticks as trekking poles, and untied work boots with hanes cotton socks. And dont forget the speakers blaring nowadays.

    Trail Etiquette is nonexistent. And ive had to swallow my words once or twice. Im not one to spend every day hike preaching trail etiquette and coming off as the know it all either.

    People dont move. People dont give right aways. People dont respect the environment.

    I had a long talk with a usfs ranger on greenleaf hut the other day too about trail runners in the whites. Doing crazy stuff with no way to take care of themselves if they were to trip on of the millions of rocks on these trails.



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    The trail running impresses me and worries me at the same time. I'm amazed at people who can bound like a gazelle over the rocks while I'm plodding along. Safely. Slowly. I do get out of their way though and watch them fly by with a bit of jealously.

    My odd story was giving a French Canadian couple directions on how to get to Wildcat Mountain while standing next to the bathrooms at Carter Notch Hut. I'm not sure how he got where he was without seeing the intersection. He was wearing jeans.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    The trail running impresses me and worries me at the same time. I'm amazed at people who can bound like a gazelle over the rocks while I'm plodding along. Safely. Slowly. I do get out of their way though and watch them fly by with a bit of jealously.

    My odd story was giving a French Canadian couple directions on how to get to Wildcat Mountain while standing next to the bathrooms at Carter Notch Hut. I'm not sure how he got where he was without seeing the intersection. He was wearing jeans.
    The trail running thing is a sensitive subject right now.

    There is nothing wrong with running the trails...

    But most bring along near nothing in supplemental gear as they dont want to be weighed down. Understandable. But we are talking about going up above treeline in a place thats not exactly forgiving.

    "What do you do if you were to get cold? Well, just get moving. What if you can't move?"

    Nothing wrong with packing light for a day trip. But you can at least throw a rain jacket or an emergency bivy in the pack.

    But they dont. Invincible.

    Imo. Negligent Hiking.

    Its so easy to take a tumble in the Whites and get seriously injured. Running these trails is asking for it and without a doubt increasing your odds of an accident.

    But there are so many different angles to this its hard to draw a line on when negligent hiking comes into play.

    A lot needs to be taken into consideration.

    Imo, if SAR has to come get you off a ridge and your found with nothing in terms of preparedness.. then you should be held fully accountable for the SAR costs.

    But.. like "ultralight" hiking... some dude with a 5lb kit can be more prepared than someone with 20lbs of gear.

    But nothing else other than a running vest and some energy chews? Your not prepared to be up there.

    So many sides to this though.

    I rarely bring a map in well defined areas of the whites anymore. Its between my ears. I know the trail systems very well here. But some could argue thats negligent.





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  19. #19

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    I am surprised I seldom, if at all, see a trail runner rescue


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  20. #20
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    Yesterday we hiked the Hemphill Bald loop in the Smokies, on the edge of the park near Balsam Mountain/Cataloochee area. The bald is a popular destination, with a few benches and a nice rock under a tree in a fenced area overlooking the adjoining community of Maggie Valley. Several people had hiked there from a nearby resort, while others arrived by hiking the 13-mile loop.
    While eating our lunch and enjoying the view, along comes this guy jogging and wearing nothing but some skimpy shorts, shoes, a fanny pack, and a bushy beard. He shared that he was doing the loop. I asked what he was doing for water. "Oh, I just camel up before hand. I do 3-hr runs all the time, so I'm used to it." Granted, the Smokies are tame compared to the Whites, but still. I don't know what was in his fanny pack - maybe phone and keys - but it wasn't big enough for a shirt or rain jacket, much less warm clothing.
    He told us he'd made an attempt at the SCAR (Smokies Challenge Adventure Run - Fontana to Davenport in 24 hours), so he's no novice. And who am I to judge? Plenty of times I've gone on a familiar​ trail with nothing more than keys and phone.

    Quote Originally Posted by fastfoxengineering View Post
    The trail running thing is a sensitive subject right now.

    There is nothing wrong with running the trails...

    But most bring along near nothing in supplemental gear as they dont want to be weighed down. Understandable. But we are talking about going up above treeline in a place thats not exactly forgiving.

    "What do you do if you were to get cold? Well, just get moving. What if you can't move?"

    Nothing wrong with packing light for a day trip. But you can at least throw a rain jacket or an emergency bivy in the pack.

    But they dont. Invincible.

    Imo. Negligent Hiking.

    Its so easy to take a tumble in the Whites and get seriously injured. Running these trails is asking for it and without a doubt increasing your odds of an accident.

    But there are so many different angles to this its hard to draw a line on when negligent hiking comes into play.

    A lot needs to be taken into consideration.

    Imo, if SAR has to come get you off a ridge and your found with nothing in terms of preparedness.. then you should be held fully accountable for the SAR costs.

    But.. like "ultralight" hiking... some dude with a 5lb kit can be more prepared than someone with 20lbs of gear.

    But nothing else other than a running vest and some energy chews? Your not prepared to be up there.

    So many sides to this though.

    I rarely bring a map in well defined areas of the whites anymore. Its between my ears. I know the trail systems very well here. But some could argue thats negligent.





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