PDA

View Full Version : Massachusetts Hiker Dies on Mt Washington - 1/10/12



mtruman
01-10-2012, 10:23 PM
Cross posting this link from VFTT. Very sad...

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view/20120110mansfield_hiker_dies_after_falling_on_nhs_ mount_washington/srvc=home&position=6

KathyC
01-11-2012, 05:03 AM
That's so sad.

Snow Miser
01-11-2012, 06:42 AM
Very sad indeed. :-(

Jimmy Legs and Little d
01-11-2012, 02:25 PM
Mark,
As Kathy and Bob have said it is so sad to hear this kind of news. It's been awhile since we've heard of anyone loosing their life in the Whites.

Donna:)

Brad
01-11-2012, 04:24 PM
Mike from the State Park mentioned that the last one was in 2010. Not long enough in between.

The fellow we talked to at the summit on Monday was not really aware of the Lion Head Winter trail. And he thought there was shelter at the summit of Mt Washington. After hearing that there was shelter instead at Lakes of the Clouds it seems he went back down. He was planning on going down the Headwall - but that would have been after dark by that time. Lion Head or the shelter would have been better options - or the Auto Road.

KathyC
01-11-2012, 05:39 PM
I know that most here are hikers and I am total awe of the hikes that I read about and see pictures. But hiking at night and especially in winter, I think is playing with your life. I'd probably get lost in the day, never mind at night and with snow yet. How can you know if you are still on the trail?

mtruman
01-12-2012, 08:09 AM
You're right Kathy - winter hiking is another whole level. Not a good time to not be prepared. We've just gotten into more seriously the last couple of winters and have still only done a few 4000 footers. I try to be ultra prepared each time and always think about how to be prepared for the worst situation. I'm still always nervous anyway (which is my nature) but it's so wonderful being out there that it's worth it.

Getting stuck after dark in winter is more of a real possibility with the short days and is an even worse thing to be unprepared for. Headlights and plenty of extra batteries are an absolute necessity. As for staying on the trail - sometimes it might be easier since the trail is broken out in the snow and therefore easy to follow. If not then it can be tough during the day as well. Not always easy to find the blazes. Above treeline you generally follow the cairns but that can be difficult as well, particularly in low visibility (snowstorm, fog, etc) and it's very hard to stay oriented when everything is white.

Brad
01-12-2012, 03:06 PM
Mark is right on. Add to those difficulties the fact that some trails are marked with a painted blaze - on the rocks. Add any snow and they can not be seen. N Kearsarge is like that. There are several open areas where the blazes are on the flat rocks on the ground. Daytime in the summer is fine. Night time is tough. Winter you don't want to be breaking trail unless you know it real well.

KathyC
01-14-2012, 09:06 AM
Normally, how far apart are blazes?
Brad, is this the hike with the fire towere that you were telling me about when you were here?

geno-bambino
01-14-2012, 11:19 AM
thats why during winter i hike from the cog railroad side, a lot safer and no need for crampons

RIP fellow hiker

Brad
01-14-2012, 01:23 PM
Kathy, blazes seem to be close enough together that in "poor" visibility you can see from one to another. Above tree line you have the rock cairns.

Yes, the N Kearsarge trail goes from Hurricane Mt Road just north of N Conway to the summit of N Kearsarge where there is a firetower. While still in the trees there are open flat rock areas where the blazes are on the flat rocks. In the day time it is easy to follow. In all cases one should study the route before hand and know what to expect for any winter hiking. The fellow we talked to on the day this hiker died had not checked out several things on what he was getting into.

sdways01
01-14-2012, 02:26 PM
One thing that I haven't seen mentioned... was he alone? The stories make no mention of how they knew he fell or where to find him.

Brad
01-14-2012, 04:14 PM
Yes, he was hiking alone. The caretaker at Hermit Shelter goes outside to check the headwall on a regular basis. He was watching the lone headlamp coming down since it was dark. Whether during his initial check or later it is not clear, but at some point he saw the headlamp fall rapidly. That is when the caretaker called out for the rescue.

mtruman
01-17-2012, 07:08 PM
Mike from the State Park mentioned that the last one was in 2010. Not long enough in between.

The fellow we talked to at the summit on Monday was not really aware of the Lion Head Winter trail. And he thought there was shelter at the summit of Mt Washington. After hearing that there was shelter instead at Lakes of the Clouds it seems he went back down. He was planning on going down the Headwall - but that would have been after dark by that time. Lion Head or the shelter would have been better options - or the Auto Road.

Brad - there has been a lot of discussion about the whole situation with this over on VFTT. Questions about how the guy wound up at the headwall, what his preparation was, etc. Do you believe that the person that you talked to on the summit was the one who fell? Sounds like there were other unprepared hikers up there that day too.

There have been other accounts of the incident published more recently including this one in the Concord Monitor on Friday: http://www.concordmonitor.com/article/304741/on-the-edge-of-winter?CSAuthResp=1326844785%3Ai0pgdidbbcdi7qosdbb nkhtdk3%3ACSUserId%7CCSGroupId%3Aapproved%3ABCDF82 4BE667C13DD611A9FF459D9DCA&CSUserId=94&CSGroupId=1

Brad
01-17-2012, 07:56 PM
This is the first article which stated Powers did not have an ice axe. Was that because he did not have one? Or because it fell and was not found? If he did not have an ice axe, then we were talking to a different person. The hiker we talked with had one strapped on the left side of his pack. It also says he got to the summit at noon. The fellow we talked with got there at 1:30pm. I had heard from a contact at the NH State Park that someone had given Powers a treking pole. This article says it was to substitute for no ice axe. My Park contact said the person who gave the treking pole also recommended the hiker go down Lion Head.

I would have to say from this article we did not talk with Powers. The person we talked to was not prepared well and hopefully got down okay.

Bill O
01-19-2012, 07:41 PM
thats why during winter i hike from the cog railroad side, a lot safer and no need for crampons

RIP fellow hiker

If you've been up the Ammo in the past year and half you might change that statement.

Probably one of the biggest avalanches in the Whites redefined the landscape there for a long time to come.