A New Jersey woman died after suffering an unknown medical condition while ascending the Tuckerman Ravine Trail in Sargent’s Purchase on Thursday.
Officials say that Sandra Lee, 63, of Mount Tabor, N.J. was hiking with two other family members while attempting to summit Mount Washington from Pinkham Notch Visitors Center.
A member of Lee’s hiking group called 911 about 2:25 p.m. when they got above the junction of Lion Head Trail and Tuckerman Ravine Trail. Lee was exhibiting what appeared to be signs and symptoms of hypothermia and could no longer continue to move under her own power.
Fish and Game Conservation Officers responded to the emergency call and requested assistance from NH State Parks staff, based on the summit of Mount Washington. Parks staff started down Tuckerman Trail to give assistance and assess the situation further as Conservation Officers responded.
When Park staff arrived on the scene, they gave warm and dry clothing to all three members of the hiking party. Conditions on the summit included below freezing temperatures with a wind-chill of 12 degrees Fahrenheit, 60 mph sustaining winds, rain and dense fog creating ice.
Lee’s family members were assisted up the trail to a summit building, while a Park staff member stayed with Lee hoping to warm her up; she was no longer mobile but still alive.
When Conservation Officers arrived at the summit, they hiked down the trail to Lee and carried her by “piggy back” approximately .2 miles up the Tuckerman Trail to the junction with the Auto Road. Lee was then driven down the Auto Road to a waiting Gorham Ambulance. Gorham Ambulance transported Lee to Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin for treatment.
She was pronounced dead at the hospital.