Hiker Spends Long Night On Mt. Washington After Wind Destroys His Tent

by Tony on April 24, 2017

Photo courtesy of New Hampshire Fish and Game

Sargent’s Purchase, NH – A hiker faced a long night on Mount Washington after strong winds damaged his tent. According to New Hampshire Fish and Game, just after midnight Sunday 27-year-old Alexander Slavic of the Czech Republic called 911 after his tent was shredded during a period of relentlessly high winds.

Slavic told 911 personnel that broken and bent tent poles had punctured his tent letting in snow and bitter winds. Conservation Officers worked to glean information from Mr. Slavic through very poor cell phone reception and ultimately learned that Mr. Slavic was still protected by a warm sleeping bag and extra clothing

At the time of the call, officers believed that Slavic was camped at a remote location near the intersection of the Glen Boulder Trail and Davis Path. The decision was made to send a small rescue party in at daybreak Sunday to check on him and ensure his ability to make it out of the woods.

At around 9:30 Sunday morning Conservation Officers located Slavic just above Glen Boulder hiking with another person who had located him and offered help. Slavic was found to be very well prepared and in good physical condition, suffering only from fatigue. They all hiked down the Glen Boulder Trail, reaching the trailhead safely at 12:25 PM.

Conservation Officers site this rescue as a good recent example of the challenges associated with spring hiking. Although bare ground can be found near the roadside and above tree line on rocky outcrops, most of the trails in the mountains of this region are still covered with feet of soft, mealy snow. Not only is this snow labor intensive to walk through, it collapses often and falls from the trees, eventually soaking through even the best of gear. Large temperature swings come with weather fronts, creating wind, precipitation and a perfect recipe for hypothermia.

Authorities urge all backcountry enthusiasts to pack for their trips as they would for a mid-winter excursion.