A college student from Topsfield and a Medford woman were injured in separate incidents while hiking icy trails on Mount Major in Alton, N.H Saturday afternoon, officials said.
Matthew McGaunn, 19, suffered a serious head injury and was flown to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. around 5 p.m., New Hampshire Fish and Game officials said in a statement.
McGaunn, who was hiking with a group from the University of Massachusetts Lowell Outdoor Adventure Program, lost traction on a steep and icy section of the mountain and slid about 200 feet off a trail, according to the statement.
A spokeswoman for UMass Lowell said officials are monitoring McGaunn’s condition, but could not comment on it.
“We are grateful to all who helped get Matthew McGaunn to safety following his injury during a hike on Mount Major,” university officials said in a statement. “The university community will do all we can to assist as he recovers.”
Alton and Gilford fire officials and conservation officers treated McGaunn and put him in a rescue sled, the statement said.
It took rescue crews several hours to bring McGaunn down the mountain “due to the off trail location, along with steep and icy conditions,” the statement said.
A second hiker, Emily Field, 26, slipped and fell on an icy trail and sustained a non-life threatening injury, according to the statement.
She was being helped down the trail by other hikers when conservation officers spotted her and drove her on a four-wheel vehicle to the trailhead. There, she was evaluated by medical staff, but opted to leave and seek treatment on her own, the statement said.
The pair of rescues prompted officials to warn hikers of the need to be well-prepared for the icy, snowy trails.
Conservation officials urged hikers to pack winter gear, including appropriate footwear and ice traction devices to ensure their safety, according to the statementAbigail Feldman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Amanda Kaufman can be reached email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @amandakauf1.