SEARCH SUSPENDED FOR MISSING MT. WASHINGTON HIKER

by Christian Mower on April 3, 2012

AUTHORITIES SAY THEY HAVE SUSPENDED THE SEARCH ON MOUNT WASHINGTON FOR A MASSACHUSETTS HIKER MISSING SINCE SUNDAY BECAUSE OF SAFETY REASONS.

TIFFANY BENNA – A SPOKESPERSON FOR THE WHITE MOUNTAIN NATIONAL FOREST – SAYS SNOW RANGERS ARE MONITORING THE ACCIDENT SITE FOR CHANGING CONDITIONS THAT WILL ALLOW RECOVERY EFFORTS TO RESUME.

BENNA SAYS NORMAN PRIEBATSCH OF BOSTON WAS HIKING WITH TWO COMPANIONS SUNDAY AFTERNOON ABOVE TREE LINE AND FELL WHILE DESCENDING THE NORTHERN FLANKS OF TUCKERMAN RAVINE.

BENNA SAYS PRIEBATSCH SLID OVER SOME ROCKS AND DOWN A SLOPE BEFORE FALLNG INTO A DEEP CREVASSE ABOUT 3:30 P.M. BETWEEN THE LUNCH ROCKS AND THE LIP. A RESCUE WAS INITIATED BUT NO RESPONSE WAS HEARD, EVEN AFTER A SNOW RANGER WAS LOWERED WITH LIGHTS AND RESCUE EQUIPMENT ABOUT 50 FEET INTO THE CREVASSE.

RESCUERS SUSPENDED THE SEARCH EFFORT ABOUT 11 P.M. SUNDAY FOR SAFETY REASONS – THE CREVASSE WAS FILLED WITH HANGING ICE, RUNNING WATER AND UNDERMINED SNOW.

SNOW RANGERS WERE JOINED IN THE SEARCH AND RESCUE BY APPALACHIAN MOUNTAIN CLUB AND HARVARD CABIN CARETAKERS, BYSTANDERS, MOUNTAIN RESCUE SERVICE AND ANDROSCOGGIN VALLEY SEARCH AND RESCUE.

IN HIS ONLINE PROFILE ON “LINKED IN,” PRIEBATSCH IS IDENTIFIED AS AN ENTREPRENEUR IN BIOTECHNOLOGY WHO HAS CO-FOUNDED SEVERAL COMPANIES, INCLUDING ONE THAT DEVELOPED A SMART CELL PHONE APPLICATION TO ALLEVIATE TINNITUS. HIS PROFILE ALSO INDICATES HE IS ACTIVE IN VOLUNTEER WORK AS A MENTOR AND LIKES TO SKI, WINDSURF, HIKE AND RUN.