Ice climber struck on the head by falling ice in Hart's Location; another rescued in Franconia

Jan. 1—HART'S LOCATION — An experienced ice climber was rescued after being struck by falling ice at Willey's Slide, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game.

First responders, including Bartlett-Jackson Ambulance, Mountain Rescue Service and state conservation officers, responded to a call about 3:25 p.m. for an injured hiker and located James Lawrence, 37, of Dover, being assisted down the trail by his climbing partner and other climbers Friday afternoon.

"Lawrence had been ice climbing with his partner when falling ice struck Lawrence in the helmet, resulting in a head injury," Fish and Game said. "Nearby ice climbers from another climbing group assisted in lowering Lawrence to the base of the slide and then assisted him down the trail to the roadside."

Lawrence was taken to Memorial Hospital in North Conway by the Bartlett-Jackson Ambulance.

"Lawrence is an experienced ice climber and had the proper climbing gear for the conditions," said Fish and Game. "The recent warm weather has made ice unpredictable and officials urge climbers to use extra caution while venturing out."

Also on Friday evening, an injured hiker was carried off the Falling Waters Trail in Franconia shortly before 6 p.m. Two Conservation Officers and volunteers from the Pemigewasset Valley Search & Rescue Team responded and found Marlene Stager, 63, of Lagrangeville, New York, who had slipped on the ice and sustained a non-life threatening injury about a quarter mile up Falling Waters Trail.

Rescuers were able to carry Stager out to the trailhead with the assistance of good Samaritans, arriving about 7:30 p.m. She was taken by LinWood ambulance to Littleton Hospital for further treatment.

"Stager and her husband had spent the day hiking the Franconia Ridge Loop, and were well outfitted for the weather conditions with extra clothing, traction devices and all required equipment," said Fish and Game. The public is encouraged to help support search and rescue activities in the state by purchasing a Hike Safe Card. New Hampshire Fish and Game also reminds hikers to prepare themselves before venturing out into the wilderness, including packing the 10 essential items; map, compass, warm clothing, extra food and water, headlamp, fire starter, first aid kit, whistle, rain/wind jackets and pants, and a knife. For additional information, visit