Rescuers in New Hampshire carried an injured 70-year-old hiker two miles down a mountain after deteriorating weather conditions prevented a helicopter from reaching the area, officials said.
The hiker, identified as Patrick Tyler of Hollis, was hiking with his wife near the summit of Mt. Cube in Orford when he slipped on wet, steep terrain and struck his head, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Law Enforcement Division said.
Tyler’s wife immediately called 911 around 12:40 p.m., the agency said.
Officials added that the couple are avid hikers and were well prepared for the day’s weather during their ascent to the 2,900-foot summit. They also purchased a HikeSafe card, which in most cases insures the cardholder against the cost of a potential rescue mission.
As Tyler’s condition deteriorated into a life-threatening situation, a New Hampshire Army National Guard Blackhawk crew was called in to help, officials said. Meanwhile, a ground team began making its way to Tyler’s location.
Worsening weather prevented the helicopter crew from reaching Mt. Cube, which officials said was “socked in with rain and low cloud cover.”
The ground crew continued its trek up the mountain, reaching Tyler and his wife around 2:30 p.m., officials said. Rescuers stabilized Tyler and began to carry the injured man down the mountain via the Cross-Rivendell Trail.
The return trek to the trailhead was about two miles, officials told Valley News, a New Hampshire-based newspaper.
The group reached the trailhead around 5:20 p.m., and Tyler was transported to a hospital for further evaluation and treatment. An update on his condition was not immediately available.
“The crux of his life-saving efforts came from having a hiking partner who could notify emergency personnel,” Fish and Game said. “Had Tyler been hiking alone the outcome of his situation could have been much worse.”