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After triggering avalanche, injured skier airlifted from Mount Washington

New Hampshire officials said the 30-year-old suffered a life-threatening lower leg injury in an avalanche Saturday morning.

The snow-covered summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire
The summit of New Hampshire's Mount Washington is seen in this Monday, Jan. 30, 2023, file photo. AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File

A New Hampshire man suffered a life-threatening injury after accidentally triggering an avalanche while skiing on Mount Washington Saturday, officials said.

Dominick Torro, 30, was skiing down “Airplane Gully” with a friend around 11:35 a.m. when he injured his lower leg in a sudden rush of snow, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department said in a news release. The Bow resident was the only one caught in the avalanche.

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Torro’s friend and another skier were able to make their way over to give aid and call 911, NH Fish and Game said. A “highly experienced back-country paramedic” offered medical guidance over the phone to help the two skiers stabilize Torro, the department said. 


As rescuers mobilized a New Hampshire Army National Guard helicopter, crews from the Mount Washington State Parks and Mount Washington Auto Road made a plan to trek there by land in case the helicopter couldn’t reach Torro, NH Fish and Game said. Meanwhile, the two skiers who were helping Torro cleared an area on the slope for the helicopter to lower a paramedic and litter. 

The helicopter eventually reached Torro at 3:19 p.m. and departed shortly before 4 p.m., according to the news release. The other two skiers decided to ski down on their own and made it off the mountain, NH Fish and Game said. 

“Both skiers who gave aid did a great job considering the conditions and situation,” the department said.

Torro was flown to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire for treatment, according to the release. 

The Mount Washington Avalanche Center said it served as a resource for the NH Fish and Game rescuers, given “the challenging conditions and nature of the terrain” where Torro injured himself.

According to the center’s website, an average of 25 people per year are injured on Mount Washington and require rescue. Accidents range in severity from sprained ankles to multi-system trauma and avalanche burials, the Mount Washington Avalanche Center said.


“Remember, you control your own level of risk by choosing when, how, and where to travel in the mountains,” the center said in a news release. “The avalanche forecast is a starting point for this decision making and planning process.”


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