3-24-2007: A hiker sustained soft tissue injuries after falling over the Headwall in Tuckerman Ravine. He was with a party of skiers when he decided to leave them and hike to the Summit by himself without any equipment except ski poles and the clothes he was wearing. On the ascent, he climbed the Lip and decided not to descend that way because it was too steep. He opted to try going down to the south of the Lip, which is steeper. After encountering icy conditions, he fell approximately 400' over the Headwall. The fall was witnessed by a group of bystanders, half of which went to Hermit Lake for help while the other half provided assistance to the victim. A Snow Ranger, the AMC Caretaker and a member of the Mt. Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol responded, treated his injuries and assisted him down to Hermit Lake. The person was able to walked out the next day. Five rescuers and a group of bystanders completed this incident in two hours.
Bernie Dahl of Winterport, Maine, nearly didn't get out. Officials cite his case as an example of what not to do. One calls him "naive." On October 23, 1999, Dahl, now 69, hiked up Mount Washington's Lion Head Trail. He passed the warning sign. Rain turned to snow, and a group of climbers turning back urged him to do the same. "I thought, I'm from New England, this is my kind of weather," says Dahl, a retired pathologist and a hiker since childhood. "There was a certain arrogance involved." By 4 p.m., he was trapped in hurricane-force conditions. Then Dahl remembered he had a cellphone and dialed for help. It eventually came, but not before Dahl reconciled himself to dying on the mountain. "Freezing is a nice way to go. You have an abnormal sense of warmth. I did not pray for rescue, I prayed for understanding and acceptance. I risked my life, and others had to risk theirs. That's not right, I don't deny it." Today, he speaks to groups about the "spiritual experience" and maintains a website.
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