As the number of hikers on New Hampshire’s Mount Monadnock swells during the coronavirus pandemic, a hiker with a serious head injury had to be rescued on the mountain yesterday.
According to New Hampshire Fish and Game officials, they received a report of an injured hiker on the mountain shortly before noon on Saturday.
The hiker, John Garrahan, 60, of Arlington, Massachusetts, was hiking down the White Dot Trail, just below the summit, in the Paradise Valley area, when he fell and suffered a serious but non-life-threatening head injury.
An off-duty Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Mountain Patrol Ranger was hiking nearby and responded to Garrahan.
The off-duty ranger, who is an EMT, assisted Garrahan down the mountain to the Old Toll Road. From there a conservation officer transported Garrahan and his two hiking companions down the Old Toll Road where Garrahan was transferred to the Jaffrey-Rindge Memorial Ambulance for transport.
Officials said the fact the off-duty ranger happened to be in the right place at the right time helped mitigate a larger response from conservation officers, park staff, and volunteers.
Since the Covid-19 outbreak, officials say Monadnock State Park has seen a surge in hikers with an estimated 90 percent of the hikers coming from out of state.
Conservation officers encourage people who are enjoying the outdoors to do so with a great deal of caution.
“People putting themselves at risk results in a multitude of first responders and volunteers having to abandon social distancing guidelines thus placing themselves at risk,” read a statement by New Hampshire Fish and Game officials. “Please consider that an injury in the backcountry demands a lot more first responders than a similar injury on the street.”