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Skier Swept Away by Avalanche in New Hampshire

This past weekend, a skier was caught in an avalanche while descending Airplane Gully on New Hampshire’s Mount Washington. The skier sustained severe injuries but received effective first aid from their partner before rescue services arrived. The Mount Washington Avalanche Center posted a video of the slide yesterday, December 12th.

The skier caught in the slide was a member of a two-person party that performed column tests above Airplane Gully before the incident, and after a solo skier separate from their party skied the line, they decided it seemed safe.

The first skier from the party of the two skied into the line and triggered a 15-foot-wide hard slab avalanche that carried them roughly 500 feet. They came to rest unburied at the bottom of the avalanche path. However, they suffered an open tibia fibula fracture during the slide.

Their partner and a nearby solo skier quickly descended the line and notified rescue services using an InReach device. Four hours later, a New Hampshire Army National Helicopter arrived and transported the injured skier to a hospital for treatment. Mount Washington Avalanche Center notes that the two skiers who provided immediate aid “were crucial” to the successful rescue effort.

Mount Washington Avalanche Center reports that the snowpack that day was “thin, disconnected, and developing – typical for this time of the year.” A warming trend likely increased avalanche risk.

Source: Powder