Hypothermia

  The winter months are a busy time for search and rescue (SAR) personnel in the Northeast. The region’s famously unpredictable and brutal winter weather leads to many misadventures that require professional rescues—but the vast majority of these incidents are preventable. Careful planning and preparation can help you avoid the many scenarios that lead to…

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  Sarah Goodnow says she was lucky the first time she saw a natural avalanche. Lucky, as in she and others around her were in a safe place, allowing them to witness the phenomenon without fear.“It was after a snowstorm and there wasn’t much wind,” she recalls. “I could see Hillman’s Highway (a ski route…

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Being outdoors in the winter—especially in the backcountry—presents a different and more complex set of safety challenges. Extreme cold and wind can render a person immobile—or worse—within minutes, complicating any additional injuries one has sustained. Here are several of the most common winter injuries, how to prevent them, and what to do if you or…

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According to an old Norwegian proverb, “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” Winter throws its fair share of bad weather at those of us who like to get outside year-round. But, with the right clothing, you can safely and comfortably head outdoors in the cold and snow. Knowing the meaning…

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  Excerpted and adapted from Essential Guide to Winter Recreation, from AMC Books. Making your way across brooks, streams, and open water carries hazards any time of year. There’s always the chance you’ll slip and end up in the drink. When it’s well below freezing and ice is involved, the dangers multiply exponentially, although there…

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For centuries, hikers traveling in the Nancy Brook Scenic Area of the White Mountain National Forest have reported hearing cries and shrieks of laughter. These strange noises are thought to belong to a young woman named Nancy Barton, who had been hiking through Crawford Notch in the winter of 1778, when she succumbed to frostbite…

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When rescue teams found James Clark on Mount Washington’s Lion Head Trail at 1:15 a.m. on June 14, 2019, the 80-year-old Dublin, Ohio, resident was barely clinging to life. The day before, Clark had set out with his two teenage grandsons on what was supposed to be a day hike to the summit of New…

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Dr. Tom: If I encounter someone in the backcountry showing signs of hypothermia, what should I do? Anyone who enjoys the Northeastern outdoors should possess basic knowledge in recognizing and treating hypothermia. While we sometimes think about hypothermia as a winter problem, it can set in any time of the year. There have been documented…

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Winter transforms a trail. The hiking is beautiful, and snow can cover and even out rocky, rooty paths, sometimes making them easier than in the other seasons. At the same time, deep drifts make some areas impassible without snowshoes, and steep slopes can become icy slides. Hikers should venture out with the season’s beauty, and its…

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If a hiker, skier, or cyclist is seriously injured in New Hampshire, Vermont, or Western Maine, there’s a good chance they’ll be cared for by Dr. Thomas Trimarco. An attending emergency department physician, Trimarco is the emergency medical services director for Dartmouth–Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H.—the North Country’s only level 1 trauma center. He…

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