A group of climbers attempting a summit of Mount Washington were caught in an avalanche on Thursday, in an area known as Huntington Ravine.
The climbing team consisted of three individuals participating in a charitable campaign to raise funds for family members of injured and deceased Special Operations members. Among the group was former Marine Sergeant Keith Zeier. The 26 year old had lost his leg and suffered extensive brain injury during his tour of Iraq in 2006. His work has already raised over $100,000 for his fellow servicemen.
The avalanche occurred at 5pm on Thursday, sweeping the climbers 800 feet down a gully. Fortunately, Zeier and his fellow climbers escaped with non-life threatening injuries. They were able to perform a slow descent to meet rescuers, who then assisted the injured climbers down the rest of the mountain.
The Mount Washington Avalanche Center had in fact issued an avalanche warning earlier in the day. They called for moderate chances of danger in the Huntington Ravine, specifically noting that human triggered avalanches were possible. Each year, an average of 25 people are injured during climbs on Mount Washington. Luckily, these individuals have the Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol and US Forest Service to answer the call when disaster strikes.