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Tuckermans Ravine Avalanche

On December 5 at approximately 12:00 pm a skier triggered a shallow soft slab avalanche near the top of Left Gully. Left Gully is one of several steep avalanche chutes at Tuckermans Ravine, Mount Washington, New Hampshire.

The skier was caught and carried, and a short distance later triggered a 2nd, larger avalanche. The skier was carried 800 vertical feet, unharmed and landed on top of the snow at the mouth of the gully.

At the same time, a solo skier was half way up the gully transitioning from climbing to skiing when hit by the avalanche. The skier was carried downhill 450 vertical feet, hitting exposed rocks along the way with resulting serious injuries, coming to a stop on top of the avalanche debris pile well below the entrance to the gully. After medical needs were addressed, the patient was placed in a rescue litter and transported to an ambulance waiting at the trailhead by a group including Forest Service Snow Rangers, Harvard Cabin Caretaker, the two other skiers involved from above and several bystanders. The rescue effort involved 9 people and 5 hours.

“The avalanche was large enough to bury, injure, or kill a person and encompassed a medium-sized portion of the whole slide path,” the avalanche center wrote in their report.”

It’s best in avalanche terrain to never ski alone and avoid being beneath others.

Mount Washington is one of the North Americas most perilous mountains with over 160 people killed on the mountain since 1849. Most people have died from falling and hypothermia/weather exposure.

Warren Miller’s Journal

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