American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

New Hampshire, Presidential Range—Mt. Madison

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1958

New Hampshire, Presidential Range—Mt. Madison—On June 2, Thomas H. Flint (21) apparently fell, struck his head and died of exposure on a descent of Mt. Madison. Flint, the most experienced, had been accompanied by Bert Perlmutter (21) and Edwin Snow (21). The weather was rainy with wind and fog and poor visibility. It is difficult to reconstruct the whole incident. (See Appalachia for more details). The three climbed up the Daniel Webster Scout Trail. Perlmutter was unable to keep up and lagged behind. At the Osgood junction Flint noted Snow was shivering and cold and he suggested Snow go on to the Madison Huts which Snow did over the summit of Madison. The trail was wet and slippery. When Snow arrived he had no matches so undressed and wrapped himself in blankets he found in the cabin. He then experienced a chill and cramps. A short time later Perlmutter arrived without Flint. Apparently he and Flint had missed connections since he came around the Parapet Trail avoiding the summit trail. The next morning they ascended the summit trail and found Flint’s body. They then went to Pinkham Notch and reported the accident.

Source: Newspaper clipping; Appalachia 31: 559-567, 1957

Analysis: This accident points up the problem of separating a climbing group, although under the circumstances it would have been difficult to do otherwise. Perhaps more fundamental is the lack of physical condition of the two survivors and the general inadequate equipment of the group for this climb. Clothing was obviously light and poor protection from rain. Flint was reported wearing oxford type shoes. The type of sole is not recorded. Flint deserves credit as the most experienced member for his ill-fated attempt to support his companions.

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