BOSTON (CBS) – Four friends were hiking down from the summit of Mt. Washington when the trouble started Saturday evening; two of them got separated in the dark and in blowing snow.
“They had poor visibility and they were descending and the first group missed the turnoff they were planning on taking,” said Snow Ranger Jeff Lane.
The two men who missed the turn, Adam Herman and Conor Lodge, both from Martha’s Vineyard, ended up triggering an avalanche, and plummeted some 800 feet in Tuckerman Ravine according to Lane.
Adam’s mother told WBZ-TV by phone her son has a badly broken arm and is very thankful for the rescue effort.
“Adam has spoken to the rescuers and he thanks them from the bottom of his heart for saving his life and saving Conor’s life,” said Pam Herman.
The danger level for an avalanche Saturday night was “considerable”, meaning human-triggered avalanches were likely.
It’s unclear if the hikers knew about the danger level.
Lane says after the two men dropped to the bottom, they were able to get up and start hiking back up the mountain. Eventually they met up with rescue crews who had already been notified by their two friends.
Rescuers say it is extremely lucky that the men survived.
“We’ve had a lot of people fall down similar slopes in that same area over the past several years-quite a few of them don’t make it alive,” said Lane.
Adam Herman will have a second surgery on his arm on Friday.
Conor had bumps and bruises.