CONCORD — A hiker who accidentally stabbed himself in the leg was helped off Franconia Ridge yesterday after rescuers spent the night with him and a companion.
Two men set out on a planned, multi-night hike Wednesday morning, according to N.H. Fish and Game officials. They planned to spend the first night near the summit of Mount Flume, on the Franconia Ridge Trail.
The men were cutting evergreen boughs for insulation and bedding when Benoit Armangau, 22, of Acton, mass., cut himself with the 5-inch blade he was using.
The injury was debilitating enough that Armangau couldn’t walk without help, officials said.
Cellphone service was limited, but the hikers eventually reached relatives in Massachusetts, who contacted police there, who notified New Hampshire authorities.
Fish and Game officials learned of the situation at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The hikers managed to get through to 9-1-1 and provide coordinates for the searchers.
Snow is still up to 2 feet deep on the ridge, which hampered rescuers’ efforts to reach the two. Conservation officers reached the men at 1:45 a.m. yesterday, stabilized Armangau and stayed with them through the night.
The hikers were prepared for the conditions, according to Fish and Game.
Conservation officers and Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue Team volunteers started up the mountain at daybreak yesterday. Armangau was able to walk slowly down the trail. Rescuers and the two hikers made it to the Liberty Spring Trailhead early yesterday afternoon. Armangau and his companion drove themselves to the hospital for evaluation.
Fish and Game officials caution hikers that there still are winter-like conditions in much of the White Mountains.