Injured hiker taken off Mt. Washington in overnight struggle that required 22 rescuers

Associated Press

Published: 10-18-2023 5:24 PM

A California man who got hurt while trying to climb the Huntington Ravine Trail on Mount Washington, one of the most difficult trails in the White Mountains, was carried to safety in a seven-hour overnight effort Tuesday that required 22 people from three rescue services, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game.

The hiker, Izem Guendoud, 31, of Oakland, California, “lost his balance on the steep, wet rock slab and slid several feet into rocks off the side of the trail” in the area known as the Fan at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to a press release from Fish and Game. “Guendoud was not prepared for a hike of this caliber and did not possess the necessary gear to hike the toughest trail in the White Mountains, particularly with the wet, cold and icy conditions.”

Rescuers from both above and below reached Guendoud at about 9 p.m. and decided to put him on a litter and take him down rather than going up to the Mount Washington Observatory. The carry-out started at about 11 p.m.

“Throughout the night and into the early morning hours, 22 members of the carry crew struggled through the rough conditions of on and off rain showers, freezing temperatures, steep terrain, and boulder fields of the ravine,” the press release said. After 7 hours they made it to an ATV parked on the Sherburne Ski Trail at approximately 6:15 a.m. on Wednesday. He was taken to Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin.

“The Huntington Ravine Trail is considered the toughest trail in the White Mountain National Forest and should not be attempted by anyone who does not have the experience, skills, and ability to rock climb and to utilize ropes, harnesses, and other technical gear. Signs have been posted at both the lower and upper entrances to this trail in an effort to dissuade casual hikers from attempting this hike,” Fish and Game wrote. 

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