Lieutenant Mark Ober
(603) 788-4850 (603) 271-3361
March 14, 2019
Thompson & Meserves Purchase, NH – Fish and Game Conservation Officers and a volunteer from Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue (AVSAR) responded to a call from a distressed skier trapped on an icy slope in Burt Ravine, on the western side of Mt. Washington Wednesday night.
Officials say that 20-year-old Sean Bagdon of Colchester, VT, had been skiing down Burt Ravine when he encountered icy conditions that caused him to become stranded. Fearing a fall further into the ravine, he asked his skiing companion to call 911 for help. Bagdon had no crampons, ice ax, or rope, which are necessary pieces of equipment when encountering icy conditions in the White Mountains. The initial 911 call was received at approximately 6:15 p.m.
After it was determined that Bagdon was neither prepared nor able to get himself out of his predicament, a rescue response was initiated. Rescuers utilized a snowmobile to ride up along the Cog Railway as far as Jacob’s ladder. From there they hiked up approximately ¼ mile before encountering Bagdon’s skiing companion, who had waited alongside the tracks to direct them to the stranded skier.
After assessing the situation, one rescuer waited at the tracks while the other was able to hike down to the skier. The rescuer was able to secure Bagdon with a safety harness and rope and guide him up and out of the ravine arriving back to the tracks at approximately 10:20 p.m. The rescuers and skiers arrived safely at the Cog parking lot at 11:00 p.m.
It is essential to be prepared by bringing the correct gear and equipment particularly this time of year when the conditions in the White Mountains can range from deep powder to frozen snow and ice. For additional hiking safety information visit www.hikesafe.com.