Another day – or, rather, night – another rescue on the “hardest trail in the White Mountains.”
Five hikers were rescued late Thursday after getting stranded in Huntington Ravine on the side of Mt. Washington, without lights or gear to stay overnight in the woods, leading to at least the fifth major rescue operation in the ravine in the past two months.
According to New Hampshire Fish and Game, a 911 call came in shortly before 8 p.m. Thursday indicating that Amram Gabay, 22, of Brooklyn, N.Y. and four hiking companions were stranded.
A volunteer from the Hermit Lake shelter was the first person to find the group, shortly before 11 p.m., as Fish and Game conservation officers, along with volunteers from Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue and the Appalachian Mountain Club were on their way.
“Although cold, the stranded hikers were rejuvenated with food, warm clothing and lights, and were able to hike with volunteers toward the trailhead. The rescue party dealt with difficult, rocky terrain and swollen river crossings,” Fish and Game said in a press release. The group arrived at the Pinkham Notch Visitors Center at 4:30 a.m. Friday. The hikers were uninjured and did not require medical attention.
Huntington Ravine has been the site of multiple rescue calls this year partly because maintenance work has closed part of the more accessible Tuckerman Ravine Trail, making people seek an alternate route to the summit of Mt. Washington. Signs have been put at the base of the trail warning of its difficulty and saying: “Do you really want to take (this) trail to the summit?”
“Hikers are reminded that many consider the Huntington Ravine Trail as the most difficult trail in the White Mountains and that emergency calls that happen here always result in long, difficult rescues,” Fish and Game noted.