Sergeant Glen Lucas
August 2, 2023

Sargent’s Purchase, NH – A New York man injured himself while attempting to hike down Mt. Washington after taking the Auto Road up the mountain in a personal vehicle.

At approximately 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 1, 2023, 47-year-old Aron Israel of Spring Valley, NY, took The Auto Road to the summit of Mt. Washington with a group of family and friends. Israel then decided to hike down Mt. Washington via the Tuckerman Ravine Trail where he expected to meet his family that had been hiking up from the bottom. While attempting to make this hike down, Israel fell and injured his ankle, which prevented him from hiking any further.

Israel, hiking alone, called 911 and asked for assistance at approximately 4:36 p.m. It was reported that Israel had no food, no water, and no warm clothing. The temperature on the summit of Mt. Washington at the time of the call was 37 degrees with a wind chill of 28 degrees, wind gusts were up to 54 miles per hour.

This 911 call necessitated a response from New Hampshire Fish and Game. A Conservation Officer requested assistance from Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) to hike some fluids, food, and warm clothing down to Israel in an attempt to avoid an exposure issue, due to the cold weather and Israel’s lack of movement.

As AMC personnel were giving initial aid to Israel, multiple Conservation Officers responded to the Auto Road. A call to Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue Team (AVSAR ) was made and over a dozen members from the volunteer group responded to the call. Another call was made to SOLO Schools in Conway, NH to recruit more volunteers. SOLO was conducting a Wilderness EMT class and when asked, eleven students volunteered to make the drive from Conway to the Auto Road and also assist in the rescue effort. All volunteers were relayed up the Auto Road in CO trucks.

Rescue crews reached Israel on the trail at 7:20 p.m. AVSAR rendered first aid, stabilized the ankle, and packaged Israel up in a warm sleeping bag in the litter. The rescue crew started carrying Israel by 7:30 p.m. and reached the summit of Mt. Washington approximately 8:30 p.m. Israel was then transported in the litter to the back of a Conservation Officer’s truck where he was then driven down to the waiting Gorham Ambulance. Israel was transported by Gorham Ambulance to Androscoggin Valley Hospital for treatment.

This rescue would not have been such light work if it had not been for the generosity of The Mt. Washington Auto Road. New Hampshire Fish and Game has had a long working relationship with the privately owned Auto Road and appreciate being able to use the road in circumstances like this.

The Auto Road allowed Conservation Officers to relay over 25 rescuers and themselves up the mountain quickly, and then bring the patient back down in a short amount of time. Reduced time and effort lessens the possibility of injuries to the patient, the volunteers, and the COs.