U.S. hiker survives 200-foot fall

A vintage coal-fired steam engine from Cog Railway was used to rescue the hiker.

A vintage coal-fired steam engine from Cog Railway was used to rescue the hiker.   | Photo Credit: Robert F. Bukaty

Ashley Furness was saved by rocks on Mount Washington

A hiker descending Mount Washington who fell about 200 feet (60.9 m) and got hurt was rescued with the help of the Cog Railway train that takes visitors up and down the summit during tourism season. New Hampshire Fish and Game conservation officers said the hiker, Ashley Furness, 35, of Bartlett, was with a companion on Sunday afternoon when she slipped and fell, striking several rocks.

She was descending along the railway tracks and was about 2 miles up from the railway station. “It was these rocks that ultimately saved her from plunging into the ravine, a fall that would have likely proved fatal,” Lt. Mark Ober, Jr. said. “Her companion was able to descend to her position, place a call for help and keep her warm with a space blanket until rescuers arrived.”

Rescuers could only get so far using an ATV and snowmobiles. There was no snow. Crews hiked the rest of the way and reached Ms. Furness after several hours, but injuries were severe and she couldn’t walk, said Lt. Ober.

Due to the steep, icy, terrain and remote location, the Cog Railway prepared a train to retrieve Ms. Furness. In the meantime, a rescue belay was set up with ropes and other gear to hoist Ms. Furness up to the tracks. The train reached her and returned to a waiting ambulance at the base around 11 p.m. on Sunday.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 10:44:23 PM |

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