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Hiker Rescued from Mt. Osceola

August 16, 2013

On August 14, 2013, Conservation Officers from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department responded to multiple rescues, including incidents in Orange and Waterville Valley.

The first incident occurred at approximately 11:45 a.m., when a hiker suffered an injury while ascending the West Ridge Trail on Mt. Cardigan in the town of Orange. The injured hiker was identified as Joseph Grady, age 55, of Attleboro, MA. Grady was ascending the West Ridge Trail when he was injured as a result of slipping and falling near the summit of Mt. Cardigan. Rescue personnel from Upper Valley Wilderness Response Team (UVWRT), Canaan Fire Department, Canaan Ambulance, Grafton Fire Department and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department hiked into Grady’s location to provide initial patient care. Grady was then placed in a litter and carried down the West Ridge Trail approximately 1.5 miles to the trailhead parking area in Orange. They arrived safely at the trailhead at approximately 3:00 p.m.

A second incident occurred at approximately 3:00 p.m., when a hiker was injured while descending the Osceola Trail on Mt. Osceola in the town of Waterville Valley. Martha Thompson, age 39, of Leicester, MA, was descending the Osceola Trail when she slipped, lost her balance and fell. She then attempted to descend the trail with the help of her husband, Matthew Thompson and hikers passing by, but was unable to continue down the trail due to the extent of her injury. Once notified, rescue personnel from Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue Team PVSART, UVWRT, United States Forest Service, Waterville Valley Fire Department and Rescue, Woodstock Fire Department, Ashland Fire Department, Holderness Fire Department and Campton/Thornton Fire Department and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department responded to assist her. Thompson was provided first-aid for her injury and was placed in a litter for transport down the trail. After descending the Osceola Trail approximately 2.75 miles, rescuers arrived safely at the Osceola TrailhhikeSafe logoead parking area with the injured woman. The rescue concluded at approximately 8:15 p.m.

Fish and Game officials remind the public to please wear suitable clothing/hiking boots and to carry appropriate gear when enjoying trails in the White Mountains. Conditions can change quickly and terrain along trails can be variable. For more information on hiking safety, contact or visit:

About Jan Stearns

I've been living in and loving New Hampshire's White Mountains for most of my life. I moved to Waterville Valley in 1981 and quickly realized why it was dubbed a Yankee Shangri-la. Once you’ve experienced Waterville Valley, you’ll want to call it yours. The great team of Realtors at Waterville Valley Realty can help you find a Waterville Valley home that fits your lifestyle and budget.

2 thoughts on “Hiker Rescued from Mt. Osceola

  • Matt Thompson says:

    I can’t express enough how thankful I am for all of the rescue workers that helped my wife down the mountain. The professionalism and teamwork that they all displayed was beyond anything I’ve ever seen. Thank you!

    • Jan Stearns says:

      Matt, I’m sure the rescue workers appreciate your kind words. We are all glad that the outcome was positive and hope your wife is back on the trails soon.

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