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Skier triggers avalanche on Mount Washington, suffers life-threatening injury

A map of the avalanche accident scene on Mount Washington on Dec. 9, 2023.
Mount Washington Avalanche Center
A map of the avalanche accident scene on Mount Washington on Dec. 9, 2023.

A skier suffered a life-threatening leg injury after triggering an avalanche while skiing down Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast, New Hampshire Fish and Game conservation officers said.

Dominic Torro, 30, of Bow, New Hampshire, was coming down "Airplane Gully" in a wilderness area with a friend Saturday morning, Sgt. Glen Lucas of the department said in a news release.

Torro's friend and another skier went to Torro and called 911. No one else was caught in the avalanche.

Authorities worked on a rescue plan for a National Guard helicopter and the Mount Washington Auto Road Sno-Cat vehicle.

"Concern about specific and needed medical action rose to the level that a joint phone call was made to a highly experienced back country paramedic in order to give medical guidance to the two skiers giving the aid," Lucas said. "The guidance was given and Torro was stabilized."

While waiting for the helicopter, the skiers shoveled out an area on the side slope so a paramedic and litter basket that would be lowered down from the helicopter would have enough space to load Torro and hoist him back up.

Mount Washington
Dan Tuohy
An early season view of Mount Washington and Tuckerman Ravine. Dan Tuohy file photo.

Torro was taken to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon. A message seeking his condition was left with a spokesperson Monday.

Mount Washington is 6,288 feet (1,916 meters) tall. The Mount Washington Avalanche Center said it is currently in a general advisory period, not yet in a daily hazard rating.

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