Never underestimate nature.  It was so hot on Sunday, my wife and I decided against a day of hiking.  I was shocked at a story reported on by unionleader.com that a hiker, Alphonse Riang, had to be rescued on Mount Washington because of snow collapse.  According to the story, the Massachusetts hiker is lucky to be alive.  Fish and Game officials said in a news release reported on by unionleader.com “Riang is lucky to be alive and this incident should act as a reminder to stay on the trail and not go on, or under any suspended snow bridges or arches of any kind, especially in the summer months when all the snowpack is losing its structural integrity due to sun and temperature.”

 

Fortunately, some hikers who witnessed the collapse and were able to call 911.  The rescue was not an easy one, no rescue ever is.  U.S. Forest Service rescuers arrived on the scene via ATVs and the rescue was assisted by other hikers.  The rescue responders can move swiftly but coming back down with an injured hiker can be troublesome.  Riang arrived at Pinkham Notch Visitor’s Center parking lot at 6:45 pm, the snow collapse happened at 1:30 pm.

He was taken to Androscoggin Valley Hospital for care according to unionleader.com.  This is just another warning that even experienced hikers can fall into trouble when they stray off the trail.  According to reports, Riang went under a snow arch on the Tuckerman’s Ravine Trail to take a video.  Witnesses say the collapse “sounded like a sonic boom” when the arch collapsed.  I have driven up Mount Washington and always wanted to hike it, but I am so inexperienced I think I will stick to driving.