Franconia RidgeA Massachusetts man camping with a friend on Franconia Ridge in the White Mountains of New Hampshire was rescued Thursday, May 1, 2014, after incurring an accidental, self-inflicted knife wound.

Benoit Armangau, age 22, of Acton, Massachusetts, set out the morning of April 30 with a 22-year-old male companion. The pair planned a multi-night backpacking excursion in the Franconia Ridge area. They stopped to camp for the night on the Franconia Ridge Trail near the summit of Mount Flume. While cutting evergreen boughs to prepare bedding and insulation for their overnight stay, Armangau accidentally stabbed himself in a lower extremity, incurring a debilitating injury that left him unable to walk without assistance. He was using a knife with a five-inch blade.

The area has limited cell phone service, but the young men were eventually able to contact their families in Massachusetts, who then notified local police in Massachusetts, who in turn notified New Hampshire authorities. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department was notified of the situation about 7:30 p.m. on April 30. A text-message was communicated to the young men advising them to get to a location where they could call 911. They did so, which provided coordinates for searchers to be able to find them.

Fish and Game sent Conservation Officers hiked up the mountain to evaluate the situation and treat the injured hiker. Hindered by snow depths of up to 2 feet on the ridge, as well as steady cold rain, the COs reached the distressed hikers at 1:45 a.m. on Thursday, May 1. The Conservation Officers stabilized the injury and stayed with the young men through the night. The hikers were adequately prepared with sleeping bags and tents.

At daybreak, teams of Fish and Game Conservation Officers and volunteers from the Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue Team were assembled and sent up the trail. Rescuers made their way back down the mountain with the injured hiker, who at that point was able to move slowly under his own power. The rescue teams and hikers arrived at the Liberty Spring Trailhead at approximately 1:30 p.m. on May 1, and the injured hiker was evaluated by a team from Linwood Ambulance Services waiting at the trailhead. The hikers opted to transport themselves in their own vehicle to Littleton Regional Hospital for further evaluation.

Spring hikers are reminded that winter-like conditions still prevail in much of New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Hikers are urged to use caution and bring appropriate gear. Learn more about safe hiking and essential items to have in your pack at