HART’S LOCATION — A 62-year-old man slipped and injured his leg while descending from the summit of Mount Willey on Thursday and had to be assisted by two hikers along with state Fish and Game conservation officers.
According to a release issued by Sgt. Alex Lopashanski of Fish and Game, just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, Gary Coyne of Wentworth “attempted to bear weight on his injured leg and was able to but was having difficulty.
"Gary’s injury occurred shortly after 1 p.m.," Lopashanski said. "He was alone on the trail and there is no cellphone service in the area. Shortly after 2 p.m., two passing hikers found Gary, who was 2½ miles from the trailhead.”
Lopashanski said Jessica Sargent, 28, of Tuftonboro and Monica Nicholson, 28, of Effingham assisted Coyne.
“Sargent hiked out and drove to place a call for help while Nicholson stayed with Coyne and helped him down the trail," the release stated. “The weather in the area was rapidly deteriorating. The temperature was dropping, and wind and blowing snow created difficult conditions.
Conservation officers responded and were beginning to hike up the trail when they spotted the headlamps of Nicholson and Coyne, Lopashanski said.
Coyne eventually reached the trailhead under his own power shortly before 7 p.m., nearly six hours after he sustained his injury.”
Lopashanski said Coyne was transported by the Twin Mountain Fire and Rescue Ambulance to Littleton Regional Hospital for treatment.
“All three of the hikers were well-prepared for the conditions, and by both carrying the proper equipment and having the necessary experience, they were able to avoid what could have been a much different outcome,” the release states.
“Winter conditions to include deep snow and ice are present in the mountains are likely to persist for the next several months,” said Lopashanski. “Anyone venturing out should be equipped with Micro-spikes, snowshoes, extra layers and gear necessary to be out overnight if unexpected circumstances arise.”