CO Eric Fluette
May 23, 2022
Thompson and Meserves Purchase, NH – Fish and Game Conservation Officers were notified of an injured back country skier via 911 on Saturday afternoon, May 21 at approximately 2:50 p.m. The report came in from other skiers who witnessed the skier tumble and fall several hundred feet while skiing down the Great Gulf on a ski run known as Airplane Gully.
The skier, identified as Kirsten Hugger, 37, of Mont Vernon, NH, had been attempting to ski the steep terrain when she fell, striking rocks in the process. The other skiers who witnessed the event came to her aid, including an off-duty Durham Firefighter and EMT who provided medical assessment. While NH Fish and Game and volunteer rescue resources were being marshalled, the group of skiers took it upon themselves to begin extricating Hugger at least 700 vertical feet back up to the rim of the Great Gulf. From there they assisted her over to the Cog Railway tracks. While a Fish and Game Conservation Officer and volunteer from Mountain Rescue Services (MRS) were making their way to the skier from the Auto Road, the group that had helped Hugger out of the gulf and flagged down a train from the Cog Railway. The train stopped and agreed to take her down the mountain to the Base Station.
Hugger and her skiing companion had skied on the East Snow Fields earlier in the day and had ventured over to the Great Gulf for one last run when the accident occurred. Hugger is an experienced backcountry skier. Hugger’s injuries were not considered life threatening, but were significant enough that she needed assistance in getting out of the steep ravine.