New Hampshire

Backcountry Skier Killed in Mt. Washington Avalanche

Officials could tell the skier had years of experience based on his use of an avalanche transceiver, without which his body may not have been found until the spring

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The body of a missing backcountry skier was found buried under 13 feet of snow in the Ammonoosuc Ravine at Mount Washington Wednesday night, according to rescue officials.

The skier, whose name is being withheld until family is notified, was reported missing by his friends Tuesday night after he didn't come home and wasn't answering phone calls.

After finding the skier's car in the snow-filled Ammonoosuc Ravine parking lot Wednesday morning, rescue officials hiked up into both the Ammonoosuc Ravine drainage and the Monroe Brook, despite potential avalanche danger.

The crew spent hours scouring both drainages until they received avalanche beacon signal around 4:30 p.m. They had to dig down approximately 13 feet of packed snow and debris before ultimately discovering the body of the missing skier.

The rescue crew had been searching for the skier since early afternoon, according to a Facebook post from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Law Enforcement Division, before they found the body around 6 p.m. Wednesday.

After several more hours, the search party was able to extract the body and make it down to the parking lot at approximately 9 p.m.

The man had planned to ski either Ammonoosuc Ravine drainage or Monroe Brook drainage on Monday, according to initial reports.

With the coronavirus vaccine rollout underway in New Hampshire, one city is offering older residents a ride to their appointments.

Officials could tell the skier had years of experience and was prepared based on his use of an avalanche transceiver. Without the transceiver, his body most likely would not have been found until the snow completely melted in the spring, according to officials.

Backcountry skiing is risky, the NH Fish and Game Law Enforcement Division warned, that should only be attempted by the "most prepared and experienced skiers."

Personnel from the New Hampshire Fish & Game’s Advanced Search & Rescue Team, the U.S. Forest Service and volunteers from Mountain Rescue Services (MRS) were involved in the search and rescue mission.

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