Two men survive Mount Washington avalanche in New Hampshire

Dec. 30, 2013 at 1:40 AM   |   Comments

MANCHESTER, N.H., Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Two men in their 20s survived a weekend avalanche that swept them 800 feet down the side of Mount Washington in New Hampshire, rescuers said.

The U.S. Forest Service, which did not identify the men, said the worst injury suffered in the Saturday afternoon snowslide in an area of the mountain known as The Lip appeared to be a broken arm, New Hampshire Public Radio reported.

The men were making their way down the mountainside when they missed a turn and wound up in an avalanche that carried them about 800 feet into an area called Lunch Rocks, Jeff Lane, a snow ranger with the U.S. Forest Service, said.

"There is a lot of exposed rock and a lot of exposed water-ice and cliffs up to 70 or 100 feet tall in that area," Lane said.

"In early winter conditions when there is all the exposed rock and ice it is hard to escape that fall without significant injuries. We've had fatalities in there in the past with similar falls. And these guys were able to walk out of there under their own power, which is kind of astounding."

Two other members of the party had been lagging behind and summoned help when they realized there had been an avalanche, Lane said.

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