Skier rescued by bystanders after falling more than 400 feet through jagged rocks at Tuckerman Ravine

James

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From the second one
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Using this new entry point, the victim was visible approximately 90 feet from the opening, or 125 feet below the original crevasse opening.
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Wow, fall in, end up 125ft down slope under the snowpack. You’re never getting out till much melting occurs.
Now that guy was listed as having “crampons”. Not much info on the first link.
 

Doug Briggs

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I had a friend that survived a grueling accident stuck in a waterfall and was surrounded by snow and rock.

Tuckerman Ravine that can severely challenge you. Along with ravines and couloirs for miles north and south of it on both sides of the range.

I wish the injured person a speedy recovery.
 

JonathanShefftz

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From the second one
—————
Using this new entry point, the victim was visible approximately 90 feet from the opening, or 125 feet below the original crevasse opening.
——————
Wow, fall in, end up 125ft down slope under the snowpack. You’re never getting out till much melting occurs.
Now that guy was listed as having “crampons”. Not much info on the first link.
His son in a televised interview claimed they had "proper crampons" (IIRC his exact words) but from a reliable source I heard the exact opposite (i.e., some sort of traction devices, even though they conditions that day called for full-on mountaineering gear, even technical ice gear).

The January incident by contrast received almost no attention. The Mt W Obs magazine had a detailed piece, but I didn't save it, and even with my membership I can't access the past issues on-line.
The victim had met with a well-prepared winter hiker earlier in the afternoon at or near the summit. The other hiker was so concerned that he lent (IIRC) a ski pole or a pair.
Cut to the AMC caretaker, standing outside at night enjoying the totally dark view of Tucks. Totally dark except for one curious light, moved around horizontally, as if trying to find the best way down ...?
Then the light just plummeted.
Cut to a first responder driving to play hockey, suddenly gets the word, drives to NH DOT garage at Pinkham, snowmobiles up in time to perform CPR on the dying hiker.
 

James

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Wow. No I didn't hear about that one. What happened to the well-prepared winter hiker? Did he leave the other guy behind?
Me thinks they took different routes. There’s only so much you can do for someone you encounter who’s unprepared and won’t follow advice.
Climbing down the Headwall is just a bad idea. In the dark? I would bet the prepared person tried to talk him out of it.
If you’re practiced with ice gear it’s a different story. But even Ueli Steck, who solo climbed the Matterhorn in less than 2 hrs, fell to his death on an “easy” training climb on Nuptse, preparing for his Everest-Lhotse route.

Memorial Day weekend, the visitor’s center had a whole rack of spike devices for hiking boots. Not actual crampons though. Without toe spikes, those aren’t much use climbing 30+ degrees.

When we were coming down the trail, we passed a young guy coming up for a look for a trip up the next day. (Ah, the young. A quick 4 hr hike to check things out)
He wanted to know about the snow and hiking up the bowl. I asked him if he was skiing and he said he’d be snowboarding. I told him I don’t know how snowboarders do it, skiers can kick steps in with the plastic boots. Plus they have poles. Maybe he could get crampons to fit snowboard boots? Maybe the snow would be soft enough to kick with snowboard boots.

Then there was the mom with a bunch of kids. She had skis, the kids nothing except the oldest, maybe 11, had a smooth bottom rigid plastic sled. I told him he was going to have to bail out to stop, as there’s no runout, only rocks at bottom. They past us still going up about 4:15 before we got to Hermit Lake. I know they all made it down because they passed us on the way down.

Then there was the dad with skis, and 3-4 kids all under 8. Again, they’re still heading up, maybe they get to the bowl at 4:30. The kids are dressed the same as any warm spring day in town. Presumably, the guy had raincoats in his pack. Still, it’s easy to slip on the low angle snow just moving around and there’s rocks everywhere.

That group we actually mentioned to the caretaker when we stopped at Hermit Lake. He said he’d talked to them.
 

JonathanShefftz

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Correct on the two hikers in Jan '12 -- the article in the Obs magazine said they met briefly at or near the summit, the well-prepared hiker was concerned for the other hiker, provided some advice and maybe (my recollection might be wrong here) provided him with a ski/trekking pole or two. (I'm questioning my recollection on the latter point since now I'm wondering how he planned to get it back ... maybe asked him to leave it at PNVC? ... or maybe gave him one of a pair of old junky ski poles?)
Only when he read about the incident did he realize the eventual fate of the ill-prepared hiker.

I didn't even think about it until now that nine years after reading that article I would go through a similar after-the-fact realization, as recounted on p. 15 here:
More on that incident in my ESAW write-up on p. 13 in that same TAR issue.

(Once this spring, my friend Pete from that article happened to be touring with my friend C who was with me when I found a dead hiker on Mt Adams WA back in 2016 and with my friend Dr W whom I called upon his arrival for our skimo training session a couple months ago to instead report to the ambulance for the deceased patient we were transporting off the hill -- at one point during their tour, one of them cheerfully announced, "if you tour with Jonathan, you're pretty much guaranteed a dead body.")
 

JonathanShefftz

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[...]I told him I don’t know how snowboarders do it, skiers can kick steps in with the plastic boots. Plus they have poles. Maybe he could get crampons to fit snowboard boots? Maybe the snow would be soft enough to kick with snowboard boots.[...]
Yep, even the most ill-prepared skier still has ski poles with ski boots that are great at kicking steps -- providing traction within those steps, often just very precarious holes in firmer conditions, not so great, but at least it's something.
Crampons with strap systems (which have improved a lot in recent years) fit snowboard boots just fine, and of course a snowboarder can use an ice axe, but pretty rare to see that in Tucks.

And very true on that lack of runout. Those rocks always come up on you quicker than you think! Even after seeing a lot of scary incidents with the lack of a run-out in late-season conditions, and being very mindful of that factor, so many times I've thought at the end of a late-season descent, Wow, those rocks sure came up more quickly than I thought they would...
 

Tricia

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Yeah, that’s not a fun hike down, especially carrying another person!
I woudln't want to walk down it carrying a peanut butter sandwich, let alone another human being. :geek:
 

Yo Momma

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What happened to our decision making processes? I'm amazed but feel for the emergency crews tasked w/ cleanup after the fact. That's a job that deserves a lifetime pension, full tax exemption and full on health coverage for life as a supplement to Medicare. That would be a true Thank You for the work rescue teams do.
 

crgildart

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Sounds like they tried the same make Rise To The Top Fell To The Bottom of a couple years ago.. similar story..
 
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