Conservation Officer Matthew Holmes
July 23, 2021
Sargent’s Purchase, NH – On the afternoon of Friday, July 23, 2021, rescue personnel from three organizations responded to Mt. Washington to assist a hiker who had fallen and injured herself on the Lion Head Trail.
At approximately 1:15 p.m., Jennifer Hughes, 46, of Waltham, Massachusetts, slipped and fell while descending some stone steps. As a result of the fall, Hughes sustained a lower leg injury that left her unable to walk. The incident occurred at approximately 4,100 feet of elevation, and at a location over 2.5 miles from the trailhead at Route 16. Knowing that help would be needed, a member of Hughes’s hiking party made a 911 call for assistance.
New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Conservation Officers were notified of the incident at approximately 1:30 p.m. Calls were subsequently made to the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) and Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue Team (AVSAR) to seek assistance in treating Hughes’s injuries and getting her out of the woods.
A caretaker for the AMC Hermit Lake Shelter was contacted by radio and immediately hiked to the scene. This individual was able to provide first aid and get the injured leg splinted, allowing Hughes to slowly hop down the trail with the support of others on each side. Two additional volunteers from AVSAR, one an EMT, hiked to the scene as well and rendered additional assistance. Responding Conservation Officers utilized ATVs to ascend the John Sherburn Ski Trail, and were able to stage the machines at Hermit Lake before joining other rescuers to assist Hughes.
Upon arrival at Hermit Lake, the rescue party took Hughes down the mountain via ATV, arriving safely at the AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center at 5:45 p.m. Once roadside, Hughes was checked by Gorham Ambulance personnel and then transported by ambulance to
Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin for further evaluation and treatment.
Hughes and her hiking companions were found to be prepared for their hike with adequate gear and a sound trip plan.
Conservation Officers would once again like to thank their volunteers and supporting organizations for all that they do to work as a team and to facilitate safe and effective rescue operations.