Lieutenant Mark Ober
August 2, 2021
Thompson & Meserve’s Purchase, NH – An injured hiker was rescued off of Gulfside Trail just north of the Sphinx Trail junction Saturday morning, July 31, 2021.
The initial call came in Friday night, reporting that a hiker had suffered a lower leg injury and was sheltered in a tent just off the Gulfside Trail. The hiker, identified as Victor Jackson, 49, of Park City, UT, had suffered the injury while attempting a multi-day Presidential traverse. Victor, who was hiking with his cousin Joseph Jackson, 40, of Wilmington, MA, injured his leg on Thursday afternoon and tried to self-rescue by attempting to reach the summit of Mt. Washington. He got within 2 miles of the summit before he could not continue so the pair set up camp for the night to give the injury time to rest.
The following day was rainy and windy, so the pair stayed sheltered in their tent waiting for a break. Still unable to walk very well, and with the weather turning worse, Victor made a call to 911 to report his situation.
A Fish and Game Conservation Officer received the report and was unable to make cell phone contact with Victor to determine the severity of the injury. A call was placed to AMC to see if AMC hut crew members from the Lakes of the Clouds hut could hike to the injured party and provide an assessment. However, due to the deteriorating weather conditions, they were unable to make it to the hiker. After several attempts at calling Victor failed, contact was finally made via text messaging. It was during this messaging that it was learned that Victor didn’t think he would be able to walk out under his own power, but it was relayed to him that a rescue was not possible until the morning due to the potentially dangerous weather conditions and that he should remain sheltered in his tent and out of the wind.
At 5:55 a.m., an AMC crew consisting of 3 members departed Lakes of the Clouds hut and arrived at Victor and Joseph’s location at 7:52 a.m. At 8:00 a.m., a rescue team consisting of Conservation Officers and Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue (AVSAR) started up the Auto Road and hiked in via the Gulfside Trail. ue to Victor and Joseph’s overall preparedness, they were able to make it through the night even though the wind speeds reached 92 mph and the wind chill factor was in the teens. After being provided with warm, dry clothes and medical treatment for Victor’s injured leg, the pair was able to hike out to the Cog Railway tracks where Victor was then placed on a train and given a ride to the summit. Joseph was uninjured and hiked out to the summit with the rescuers.
Due to Victor and Joseph Jackson’s plan and preparedness, they were able to safely make it through dangerous weather conditions. They possessed all the 10 essentials recommended by the Hike Safe program as well as other key pieces of gear such as a tent, sleeping bags, multiple layers of clothing, camp stove, and plenty of food and water.
No other information available at this time.