Welcome to the AppalachianTrailCafe.net!
Take a moment and register and then join the conversation

Hiker dies on Mt. Washington - Hypothermia - June 13

    This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy.

    • cut and paste from new hampshire fish and game law enforcement facebook page.

      PRESS RELEASE
      June 14, 2019
      Hiker Dies After Attempting to Ascend Tuckerman Ravine Trail
      Sargent’s Purchase – A New Jersey woman died after suffering an unknown medical condition while ascending the Tuckerman Ravine Trail in Sargent’s Purchase on Thursday June 13, 2019.
      Officials say that Sandra Lee, 63, of Mount Tabor, NJ was hiking with two other family members while attempting to summit Mount Washington from Pinkham Notch Visitors Center.
      A Member of Lee’s hiking group called 911 at approximately 2:25 pm when they got above the junction of Lion Head Trail and Tuckerman Ravine Trail. The call was made due to Lee exhibiting what appeared to be signs and symptoms of hypothermia and could no longer continue to move under her own power.
      Fish and Game Conservation Officers responded to the emergency call and requested assistance from NH State Parks staff, based on the summit of Mount Washington. Parks staff started down Tuckerman Trail to give assistance and assess the situation further as Conservation Officers responded.
      When Park staff arrived on the scene, they gave warm and dry clothing to all three members of the hiking party. This was necessary due to conditions on the summit being below freezing with a wind-chill of 12 degrees Fahrenheit, 60 mph sustaining winds while rain and dense fog created ice.
      After receiving the warm and dry clothing, Lee’s family members were assisted up the trail by one Park staff member, to a summit building to get even warmer. The other Park staff member stayed with Lee with hopes to warm her up, as she was no longer mobile but still alive.
      When Conservation Officers arrived at the summit, they hiked down the trail to Lee and quickly carried Lee by “piggy back” approximately .2 miles up the Tuckerman Trail to the junction with the Auto Road. Lee was then driven down the Auto Road to a waiting Gorham Ambulance. Gorham Ambulance transported Lee to Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin for treatment.
      Unfortunately, despite all efforts Lee did not survive and was pronounced deceased at the hospital.
      2,000 miler
    • and 6 hours later another hiker was rescued; 80 year old man found in a fetal position on the trail exhibiting signs of hypothermia. this rescue had a happy ending.

      same source as above.

      PRESS RELEASE
      June 14, 2019
      Hiker Rescued While Attempting to Ascend Lion Head Trail
      Sargent’s Purchase – An Ohio man had to be rescued and carried out approximately 1.7 miles after attempting to ascend the Lion Head Trail in Sargent’s Purchase on Thursday June 13, 2019.
      James Clark, 80, of Dublin Ohio was hiking with two other family members while attempting to summit Mount Washington from Pinkham Notch Visitors Center.
      Shortly after starting the hike, all members of Clark’s hiking group left him behind to hike by himself as they continued to the summit. Clark’s hiking group ultimately summited without him then hiked down a different way, reaching the Pinkham Notch Visitors Center without Clark. At approximately 7:45 pm the two family members made a call to rescue personnel, reporting that Clark was overdue, not prepared with overnight gear and did not have a cell phone or light.
      Fish and Game Conservation Officers responded to the emergency call and requested assistance from the Appalachian Mountain Club.
      This was the second rescue call on Mount Washington within six hours and due to the timeline and location, it was noted that Clark would have suffered the same conditions that had potentially just played a role in a hiking fatality just hours before. Below freezing with a wind-chill of 12 degrees Fahrenheit, 60 mph sustaining winds and rain with dense fog creating ice were noted on the summit earlier in the day.
      AMC staff, based at Hermit Lake Shelters, started up Lion Head Trail to give assistance and attempt to locate Clark as Conservation Officers responded.
      Conservation Officers drove up the Auto Road and a team of two hiked down Tuckerman Ravine Trail and then Lion Head Trail to also attempt to locate Clark. An AMC staff member located Clark on the Lion Head Trail just above the Alpine Garden Trail intersection. Clark was found in a fetal position, not moving and exhibiting what appeared to be signs and symptoms of hypothermia to the point of not being able to speak any clear or discernable words.
      The AMC staff member and team of Conservation Officers stripped Clark of his wet clothes and dressed him with warm dry clothes. They then placed Clark in a sleeping bag, to warm him. At this time it was decided that Clark had to be carried out in a litter as his condition and distance from a trailhead or road crossing was too far to “piggy back.” The three rescue personnel continued to keep Clark warm and alive as volunteer rescuers were called to assist in the life saving event.
      AMC staff, Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue Team members, and more Conservation Officers responded to the call and carried in a litter with all necessary gear to Clark’s location on Lion Head Trail. The litter and crews reached Clark at approximately 1:15 am and Clark was being carried across the Alpine Garden by 1:30 am.
      The rescue crew carried Clark approximately 1.7 miles to the Auto Road and arrived at 5:00 am on Friday June 14, 2019. Clark was driven down the Auto Road to a waiting Gorham Ambulance where he was transported to Androscoggin Valley Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
      2,000 miler
    • idiots is too nice a term to use. who the hell leaves an 80 year old behind? this never should have happened.

      <snip> from above post for emphsis.

      James Clark, 80, of Dublin Ohio was hiking with two other family members while attempting to summit Mount Washington from Pinkham Notch Visitors Center.
      Shortly after starting the hike, all members of Clark’s hiking group left him behind to hike by himself as they continued to the summit. Clark’s hiking group ultimately summited without him then hiked down a different way, reaching the Pinkham Notch Visitors Center without Clark. At approximately 7:45 pm the two family members made a call to rescue personnel, reporting that Clark was overdue, not prepared with overnight gear and did not have a cell phone or light.
      2,000 miler
    • max.patch wrote:

      idiots is too nice a term to use. who the hell leaves an 80 year old behind? this never should have happened.

      <snip> from above post for emphsis.

      James Clark, 80, of Dublin Ohio was hiking with two other family members while attempting to summit Mount Washington from Pinkham Notch Visitors Center.
      Shortly after starting the hike, all members of Clark’s hiking group left him behind to hike by himself as they continued to the summit. Clark’s hiking group ultimately summited without him then hiked down a different way, reaching the Pinkham Notch Visitors Center without Clark. At approximately 7:45 pm the two family members made a call to rescue personnel, reporting that Clark was overdue, not prepared with overnight gear and did not have a cell phone or light.
      I wonder if he will updating his will when he gets back home.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • max.patch wrote:

      minus 12 degrees windchill on june 13. :(
      I wonder what the windchill was when I was on My Lafayette last summer. I know the wind was blowing strong and the rain was cold. Worst part was my glasses fogging up. Got some Cat Crap for this trip, so we will see how that works. Lost my packcover that day also. I am sure it was not the first one lost up their.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • max.patch wrote:

      idiots is too nice a term to use. who the hell leaves an 80 year old behind? this never should have happened.

      <snip> from above post for emphsis.

      James Clark, 80, of Dublin Ohio was hiking with two other family members while attempting to summit Mount Washington from Pinkham Notch Visitors Center.
      Shortly after starting the hike, all members of Clark’s hiking group left him behind to hike by himself as they continued to the summit. Clark’s hiking group ultimately summited without him then hiked down a different way, reaching the Pinkham Notch Visitors Center without Clark. At approximately 7:45 pm the two family members made a call to rescue personnel, reporting that Clark was overdue, not prepared with overnight gear and did not have a cell phone or light.
      perhaps an IQ test needs to be administered before people are allowed to hike in the Whites.

      First, who the heck decides to do a dayhike when the wind is 60 mph and the windchill is 12 degrees F and it's raining. I would question the sanity of someone much younger but to take an 80 yo out to hike in those conditions then to leave him behind. Were they trying to do what the indigenous people did and leave him out on the mountain to face the end time? Yes, idiot is too nice a term.
    • max.patch wrote:

      idiots is too nice a term to use. who the hell leaves an 80 year old behind? this never should have happened.
      I have to agree with Max.Patch.
      I can imagine the 80 year old having trouble climbing the trail and telling the others to go on that he'd be OK.
      No matter how much he protested I would have changed my plans, the mountain will always be there for another day.
    • The actions of the 80 year old's family are inexcusable. The top of Lion's Head is no place to abandon an 80 year old man in any conditions, let alone a driving freezing rain.

      I'd hazard a guess that the SAR people made sure that these juicy tidbits were conveyed to the reporters because they wanted the world to know of the douchebag move made by those those family members.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier


    • Here are me and my son at the top of Lion's Head on a nice day. Once there your choices are ...
      1) To the top of Mount Washington
      2) Back down the way you came on the Lion's Head trail, a wet difficult hand-over-hand rock scramble. It is way harder going down than up.
      3) Cutting across the Alpine Garden and coming down the treacherous Tuckerman Ravine trail (which I think is what the rest of the family must have done).

      They never, never should have left him there in those conditions.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • IMScotty wrote:



      Here are me and my son at the top of Lion's Head on a nice day. Once there your choices are ...
      1) To the top of Mount Washington
      2) Back down the way you came on the Lion's Head trail, a wet difficult hand-over-hand rock scramble. It is way harder going down than up.
      3) Cutting across the Alpine Garden and coming down the treacherous Tuckerman Ravine trail (which I think is what the rest of the family must have done).

      They never, never should have left him there in those conditions.
      Oh my goodness...that red curly hair. What a cutie!

      Yeah...the recent events on Mt. Washington are so unfortunate. Geez Louise.
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis
    • Traffic Jam wrote:

      IMScotty wrote:



      Here are me and my son at the top of Lion's Head on a nice day. Once there your choices are ...
      1) To the top of Mount Washington
      2) Back down the way you came on the Lion's Head trail, a wet difficult hand-over-hand rock scramble. It is way harder going down than up.
      3) Cutting across the Alpine Garden and coming down the treacherous Tuckerman Ravine trail (which I think is what the rest of the family must have done).

      They never, never should have left him there in those conditions.
      Oh my goodness...that red curly hair. What a cutie!
      Yeah...the recent events on Mt. Washington are so unfortunate. Geez Louise.
      He is, he is 19 years old now. Dropped him off for his summer 'camp counselor' job today. Now he is tall and handsome :)
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • IMScotty wrote:




      Here are me and my son at the top of Lion's Head on a nice day. Once there your choices are ...
      1) To the top of Mount Washington
      2) Back down the way you came on the Lion's Head trail, a wet difficult hand-over-hand rock scramble. It is way harder going down than up.
      3) Cutting across the Alpine Garden and coming down the treacherous Tuckerman Ravine trail (which I think is what the rest of the family must have done).

      They never, never should have left him there in those conditions.
      thanks for providing the perspective of what the 80 year old hiker faced.
      2,000 miler
    • max.patch wrote:

      update; new details emerge.

      80 year old hiker told the family members to go ahead; blames himself for the incident.

      the family members were 19 and 14.

      unionleader.com/news/safety/re…90-b872-4b2c2809d7d5.html
      Sheesh. You'd think the 19 year old would have enough sense to disagree with grandpa.

      I was going to post some snarky reply but I think the three of them learned a valuable (and quite possibly an expensive) lesson.

      Note to self: add another layer of clothing to the pack for this September's hiker over Mt. Washington.
      Trudgin' along the AT since 2003. Completed Sections: Springer Mountain to Winding Stair Gap NC, Max Patch to Franconia Notch NH and the Gale River Trail to Pinkham Notch NH.
    • max.patch wrote:

      update; new details emerge.

      80 year old hiker told the family members to go ahead; blames himself for the incident.

      the family members were 19 and 14.

      unionleader.com/news/safety/re…90-b872-4b2c2809d7d5.html
      The family has been beat up on without knowing all the facts, first thing that came to mind for me is if I had been that old guy it most probably would have been my fault....my tomb stone will probably read....He did one stupid thing too many.
      I may grow old but I'll never grow up.