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Skier amazingly survives fall into waterfall hole on Mount Washington

A skier Monday survived a fall into a waterfall hole on Mount Washington in New Hampshire, less than two weeks after a 32-year-old man died in an avalanche on the mountain, officials said.

The Mount Washington Avalanche Center provided information on Monday’s incident in a statement.

“At 1:58 PM on Monday, April 22, a skier fell over the Tuckerman Ravine headwall and into one of several waterfall holes,” the statement said. “Partners and bystanders quickly initiated rescue efforts and also called 911 for emergency response. Unsure of where under the snow the fallen skier was, a beacon search was initiated and could have been helpful, though this was a non-avalanche accident. At 2:18 pm, after 20 minutes out of view to the rescuers, the subject climbed out of a different hole in the snow and slid down to the rescue party below him in the slope. He had lost his skis, poles, and pack.”

The skier, who wasn’t named, “was alert, oriented, and able to walk but in pain from several impacts during the fall,” the statement said. “He was also cold and wet from spending most of the 20 minutes in very cold flowing water, though not submerged. The rescue party quickly changed his clothes to drier ones. They wrapped him in a sleeping bag and briefly transported him in a rescue litter obtained from the nearby Connection Cache of emergency supplies. In effort to warm the subject, the rescue party then helped the subject begin walking down the Tuckerman Ravine Trail towards Hermit Lake.”


Waterfall holes on the mountain can be treacherous for anyone who falls into them.

“A fall into these holes, which often also have significant amounts of cold flowing water which can quickly cause hypothermia, can be very difficult to escape or be rescued from,” the statement said. “Such accidents have resulted in several fatalities in Tuckerman Ravine. A lucky skier had a very close call in this type of accident” Monday.


Monday’s close call followed a tragedy on the mountain April 11, when 32-year-old Nicholas Benedix of Campton, N.H., was killed in an avalanche.

Snow rangers responded to the avalanche around 1:30 p.m. on April 11 and recovered Benedix’s body less than an hour later, the US Forest Service has said.

The avalanche was human-caused and about 135 feet wide at its thickest, according to the Forest Service.

Globe Correspondent Andrew Stanton contributed to this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at Follow him on Twitter TAGlobe.