Missing Canadian Snowboarder Rescued in the White Mountains


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Apr 3, 2007
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Marlborough, Massachusetts
Here is the official news release from the NHF&G:

Capt. John Wimsatt, NHFG: 603-271-3127
Jane Vachon, NHFG: 603- 271-3211
Colleen Mainville, USFS: 603-536-6243
April 25, 2011

Missing Canadian Snowboarder Rescued in the White Mountains

CONCORD, N.H. -- Rescue teams succeeded in finding a missing snowboarder, 32-year-old Jean-Francois Massicotte of St. Boniface, Quebec Province, after searching throughout the day. Massicotte was cold and tired after unexpectedly spending the night on the mountain after taking a wrong turn off the top of Tuckerman's Ravine, but he was uninjured and as of 3 p.m. today was hiking out to safety with a group of searchers from the Appalachian Mountain Club. A N.H. Army National Guard helicopter had been following tracks in the deep snow from the air for at least six miles, when the ground searchers met up with the man on the Dry River Trail.

Massicotte had last been seen yesterday (Sunday, April 24) about 11:30 a.m. He had hiked in to Tuckerman's Ravine with his brother-in-law Alexandre Gauthier to go snowboarding. They reached the base of Tuckerman's Ravine mid-morning, then split up, with Gauthier remaining at the base and Maggicette heading up to the top of Tuckerman's Ravine to snowboard down. The pair planned to meet up again at the base between 4 and 5 p.m., but Massicotte never showed up.

The N.H. Fish and Game Department was notified of the missing snowboarder at about 1:00 a.m. and alerted the U.S. Forest Service. Search plans were developed overnight and by daybreak Forest Service Snow Rangers and Mountain Rescue Service members were on the mountain looking for Massicotte. Appalachian Mountain Club field teams and N.H. Fish and Game Advanced Search and Rescue Team members soon joined the effort, and the N.H. Army National Guard helicopter was called in to assist. The Mount Washington Observatory donated the services of their Snow Cat to get searchers up the auto road to the summit of Mount Washington.

Throughout the day, searchers eliminated a number of likely areas, scouring Tuckerman's and Huntington ravines and an area known as Raymond's Cataract. Then, after tracks were found in the deep snow in the Dry River drainage, the search focused there.

On Sunday, Massicotte became lost, possibly because of reduced visibility due to fog above the treeline. At the summit of Tuckerman's Ravine, he went south instead of east, ending up in the Oakes Gulf area, the headwall of the Dry River Wilderness.

Winter conditions, including cold temperatures and deep snow still prevail in the Presidential Range of New Hampshire's White Mountains. Searchers were concerned about finding the missing man before significant rains expected to arrive tonight, with potential for flash flooding that could hamper search efforts, according to Lt. Douglas Gralenski of N.H. Fish and Game Law Enforcement.

For further information on being safe while hiking or pursuing outdoor recreation and to learn the hiker responsibility code please visit www.hikesafe.com.


Dr. Dasypodidae

Well-known member
VFTT Supporter
Jan 15, 2004
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Thornton, NH
The Dry River valley historically draws in the unwary like a magnet, and it is a long, long way out to Rt. 302, especially in deep snow without snowshoes. A compass and a map are nice to have on hand, as they can usually help avoid heading 90 degrees in the wrong direction. Good to learn that this guy survived.


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Apr 16, 2008
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Manchester, NH
The only question remaining.

Can the State of NH charge a non-citizen living in another country for the cost of this rescue?

As sad as it may sound, if this had happened to me my likely comment to F&S upon rescue would be:

I will be unable to discuss the particular details of events leading up to and including my ordeal until I have the opportunity to talk to my attorney. Thank you for saving my life.
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