Avalanche Survivor Describes The Fall, The Flight And The Landing

Dec 31, 2013

A 24-year-old Massachusetts man who survived an avalanche on Mount Washington Saturday afternoon says it was a bewildering and terrifying trip down the Tuckerman Ravine.

Adam Herman of Oak Bluffs, was walking ahead of his partner, Conor Lodge, when he felt the snow begin to give way.

He turned and desperately tried to sink his ice ax into the snow.

“It didn’t take, so I just fell,” he said.

The pair had triggered an avalanche near an area called The Lip and they were beginning an estimated 800-foot trip that U.S. Forest Service officials say they were lucky to survive.

“The first fall was pretty scary and then I was sliding a bunch, just very dark. It felt like I was going 100 miles per hour and just launching around. I didn’t know which way was what,” he said.

“There was a time where I felt like I was in the air. For a few seconds and I actually had time to think to myself ‘Oh, man, I don’t know when am I going to hit the ground again. I haven’t felt it in a little while.”

He came to rest face down in the snow, his head was bleeding and he was on top of his arm, which he thought didn’t feel right.

He said his friend, Conor Lodge, didn’t tumble as far as he did, but suffered a concussion.

“He didn’t know who I was for the next half hour. He kept asking who I was, where we were, what was going on,” he said.

Lodge was released from the hospital shortly after the accident.

Herman is in Maine Medical Center in Portland being treated for a broken arm, broken scapula and fracture of the L2 vertebrae.

He hopes to be released from the hospital this weekend.