Rescuers Astounded Two Men In Avalanche Escaped Serious Injury

Dec 29, 2013

Courtesy of US Forest Service: This is the Lip area as it looked on Dec 24. The Lip is the section in the upper right corner. A previous avalanche crown line is visible at the top of this snowfield. This is the approximate location of where the recent avalanche was triggered.

Rescuers say it is amazing that two men caught in an avalanche on Mount Washington’s Tuckerman Ravine weren’t seriously injured, but they had a brutal ride.

The two men were on their way down Mount Washington Saturday afternoon when they missed the turn onto the Tuckerman Ravine Trail, says Jeff Lane, a snow ranger with the U.S. Forest Service.

Then, they walked into an area known as The Lip, triggering an avalanche that carried them through a perilous area.

“There is a lot of exposed rock and a lot of exposed water-ice and cliffs up to 70 or 100 feet tall in that area,” he said.

The pair tumbled to a halt in an area called the Lunch Rocks after covering an estimated 800 feet.

“In early winter conditions when there is all the exposed rock and ice it is hard to escape that fall without significant injuries,” said Lane.

“We’ve had fatalities in there in the past with similar falls. And, these guys were able to walk out of their under their own power, which is kind of astounding.”

Lane said two other members of the party - who were following some distance behind – saw the tracks going the wrong direction.

Then they realized there had been an avalanche and got help.

Lane said the men were not fully buried and the worst injury appeared to be a broken arm.

Late Monday the men were identified as Adam Herman and Conor Lodge from Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts.