American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

New Hampshire, Mt. Washington

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1965

New Hampshire, Mt. Washington. On 4 April Hugo Stadtmüller (28) and John J. Griffin (40) were in Huntington Ravine and planned to practice ice climbing in Odell Gully. There had been heavy snow fall followed by high winds on 3-4 April. They were reported missing on 5 April and a search party was organized. The search party noted that there had been considerable avalanche activity in the Ravine. They searched Odell Gully but found no clues. They did locate a climbing rope, cap, and a broken lens from sun goggles scattered about the lower slopes of Central Gully. A large quantity of blood was found on the snow. Darkness prevented further search.

The next morning, 6 April, a large party assembled in the Ravine. Trenching and probing of the avalanche area was done all morning without success. At about 1:45 P.M., the first victim, John Griffin, was found in the floor of the Ravine. His body had been damaged considerably as it was swept through the talus slope. The top of his head had sustained severe damage and his left leg seemed to be broken. At 3:15 P.M., approximately 100 feet above Griffin, the body of Stadtmüller was located. He also had been severely injured with obvious fractures and considerable loss of blood. The men were not roped together, nor was there any evidence that they had been using a rope. The bodies were evacuated.

Source: George T. Hamilton, Appalachia 35, 357–359, 1964.

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