Sgt. Alex Lopashanski
September 30, 2022
North Conway, NH – On Thursday, September 29, 2022, shortly after 4:00 p.m., New Hampshire Fish and Game was notified that a climber was injured on the Standard Route on Whitehorse Ledge. The climber was Shaun Pickington, 36, of Glassboro, NJ. Pickington was over 600 feet up the cliff when he fell about eight feet and hit a ledge, which caused a severe lower leg injury. After impacting the ledge, he slid a few more feet. The gear he had placed to prevent a longer fall held and his wife Komal who was belaying him from below arrested his fall with a rope.
Along with a Conservation Officer, members of North Conway Fire and Rescue, Conway Ambulance, and the Mountain Rescue Service responded. MRS team members rapidly climbed to Pickington’s location on the cliff. They were able to stabilize his injury and secure him in a litter. After assisting Komal to the ground, they lowered Pickington in the litter to the base of the cliff where he was then carried to a waiting ambulance. He was brought to the ambulance shortly after 8:30 p.m. and was taken to the Memorial Hospital in North Conway for treatment. Excessive rope drag created by Pickington and a lack of familiarity with the route contributed to the fall.
The Mountain Rescue Service is based locally in North Conway and is a highly skilled volunteer search and rescue organization whose members work hard to maintain the skills and equipment necessary to carry out technical rescues across the state. Anyone can donate to MRS through the New Hampshire Outdoor Council at www.nhoutdoorcouncil.org. Donations are fully tax deductible. Outdoor enthusiasts are also encouraged to purchase a Hike Safe card at www.wildnh.com/safe. The card helps support Fish and Game search and rescue activities. For safe hiking tips and a list of essential gear, visit hikesafe.com.