CNN

Skier dies after falling nearly 600 feet down Mount Washington ravine

Mar 10, 2024, 6:18 PM

A 2015 photo shows Tuckerman Ravine at left, about one mile below the summit of Mount Washington. M...

A 2015 photo shows Tuckerman Ravine at left, about one mile below the summit of Mount Washington. Mandatory Credit: Robert F. Bukaty/AP/File via CNN Newsource

(CNN) — A skier has died after she fell nearly 600 feet down an icy ravine on Mount Washington in New Hampshire over the weekend, officials say.

The woman and two others were backcountry skiing on Saturday, US Forest Service public affairs specialist Colleen Mainville said.

Authorities said 20-year-old Madison Saltsburg was killed. The skier “suffered fatal traumatic injuries” after falling down Tuckerman Ravine, Mainville said in a news release. The two survivors suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Mainville said the three faced hard, icy snow surfaces, open crevasse holes and unforgiving conditions for slipping and falling.

Mainville said that the US Forest Service and Mount Washington Avalanche Center (MWAC) conducted a rescue effort to evacuate Saltsburg off the mountain.

Mainville said the avalanche center’s snow ranger team worked another situation Saturday in which two other skiers sustained traumatic injuries from rocks and ice.

On its website, the Forest Service says the Tuckerman Ravine Trail is covered in snow and ice in winter and has “highly exposed steep cliffs and slopes below it.”

“From late fall through late spring or even early summer, think of it more as a mountaineering ascent than a hike. The consequences of a fall or being involved in an avalanche can be dire,” it says.

The agency says traveling in avalanche terrain requires careful use of mountaineering tools and equipment including crampons, ice axe and the skills to use them. It was not known Sunday whether the skiers had such equipment.

The Appalachian Mountain Club, which operates huts on Mount Washington, describes Tuckerman Ravine as “the birthplace of extreme skiing in the US.”

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Skier dies after falling nearly 600 feet down Mount Washington ravine