Teen hurt in icy moun­tain spill

Boston Herald - - NEWS - By LAU­REL J. SWEET

A Tops­field teen on a group out­ing in New Hamp­shire to learn win­ter hik­ing skills was air­lifted to an area hos­pi­tal with a se­ri­ous head in­jury Sat­ur­day af­ter au­thor­i­ties said he slipped on an icy trail and tum­bled 200 feet down Mount Ma­jor.

Ac­cord­ing to Maj. James Juneau of the New Hamp­shire Fish and Game Depart­ment, the ter­rain was so steep and foot­ing so pre­car­i­ous that it took con­ser­va­tion of­fi­cers and other first-re­spon­ders “sev­eral hours to bush­whack their way off of the moun­tain.” The vic­tim was iden­ti­fied as Matthew McGaunn.

McGaunn was with the Uni­ver­sity of Mas­sachusetts Low­ell Out­door Ad­ven­ture Pro­gram in the Belk­nap Range near Lake Win­nipesaukee at the time, but it was un­clear if he was a stu­dent or a guest. The on­line course de­scrip­tion cau­tioned trails “may in­clude heavy snow, ice, and steep hills.”

Juneau said McGaunn was in­jured while hik­ing the Blue Trail below Mount Ma­jor’s sum­mit.

Res­cuers de­liv­ered McGaunn to the moun­tain’s trail­head shortly be­fore 5 p.m., where he was met by a med­i­cal he­li­copter and air­lifted to Dart­mouth Hitch­cock Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Le­banon, N.H.

His con­di­tion was un­avail- able Sun­day.

Chris­tine Gil­lette, a spokes­woman for the uni­ver­sity said, “We are grate­ful to all who helped get Matthew McGaunn to safety . ... The uni­ver­sity com­mu­nity will do all we can to as­sist as he re­cov­ers.”

While try­ing to reach McGaunn, Juneau said con­ser­va­tion of­fi­cers came upon a se­cond in­jured hiker from Mas­sachusetts iden­ti­fied as Emily Field, 26, of Med­ford.

Field sus­tained a mi­nor in­jury when she, too, slipped and fell on an icy trail, Juneau said. Field was taken down the moun­tain on a four-wheeler, but opted to seek med­i­cal treat­ment on her own, he said.

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