THOMPSON & MESERVE’S PURCHASE, NH – At approximately 3:20 p.m., two hikers placed a call to 911 after one of them suffered a leg injury while descending Mt. Adams. The hikers, identified as brothers Dirke Buban, 39 of Queensbury, N.Y., and Eric Buban, 45, of Woodbury, Conn., had inadvertently lost the Star Lake Trail during the descent and ended up pitching a short way down into Madison Gulf into waist deep snow when the injury occurred.
Realizing their mistake, the hikers attempted to hike back up towards the ridge when Dirke broke one of his snowshoes and subsequently suffered a leg injury. With the brothers mired in waist deep snow, with an unknown injury and high winds, blowing snow, and frigid temperatures, they placed a call for help.
With poor cell phone coverage the call was soon dropped and unable to be re-acquired. Fish and Game was notified of the incident and a rescue response was initiated with members of Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue (AVSAR), Mountain Rescue Services (MRS) and Advanced SAR Team qualified Conservation Officers responding.
Due to their compromised position and the fact that any potential rescue was hours away, Dirke was able to endure the pain in his leg and was able to make his way through the deep snow until he and his brother reached solid terrain which made the pain in his leg more tolerable. Once the brothers reached Star Lake, the solid footing of the windswept ground assisted them in making it the rest of the way.
At approximately 5:30 p.m., the hikers made it to Madison Spring Hut where cell phone communication was reestablished and the decision that rescuers could stand down was made.
After two hours of steady hiking down the Valley Way Trail, the brothers successfully made it down to the Appalachia Trailhead parking lot.