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Skier airlifted off Mount Washington after accidentally triggering avalanche

The summit of New Hampshire's Mount Washington is seen in this Monday, Jan. 30, 2023, file photo.Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press

A skier navigating the treacherous slopes of New Hampshire’s Mount Washington accidentally triggered an avalanche Saturday morning that engulfed the skier and left them with injuries, officials said.

The victim, whose identity was not released, was in the mountain’s Airplane Gully in the challenging Great Gulf Wilderness area when they were caught up in the cascading snow and carried down the slope, the Mount Washington Avalanche Center said in a statement on Sunday.

The skier was rescued by emergency responders and bystanders and taken by ambulance to a local hospital.

A spokesperson for the White Mountain National Forest could not immediately be reached to provide an update on the victim.

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According to officials, the backcountry skier was in Airplane Gully when they triggered an avalanche at around 11:30 a.m. Their two ski partners provided first aid as emergency crews and rescuers responded to the accident.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department led the rescue effort, with a New Hampshire Army National Guard helicopter brought in to remove the victim, “given the extreme and remote nature of the terrain,” officials said.

The Mount Washington Avalanche Center said that while there was no hazard rating at the time of Saturday’s incident, people should still be cautious of dangerous areas.

According to the center, an average of 25 people every year require rescue on Mount Washington, with injuries ranging from sprained ankles to major trauma to avalanche burials.

“Remember, you control your own level of risk by choosing when, how, and where to travel in the mountains,” the statement said. “The avalanche forecast is a starting point for this decision making and planning process.”



Samantha J. Gross can be reached at samantha.gross@globe.com. Follow her @samanthajgross.