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Battered hiker praises rescuers
Russell Kinkade has endured two surgeries already and is preparing for several more, including extensive facial reconstruction. Nevertheless, he was well enough Saturday to take a telephone call at his Pembroke, Mass., home and reel off most of the injury list Lentini mentioned. "Well, multiple facial fractures, a broken wrist, 37 stitches in the face and head, and eight broken and dislocated fingers. I broke the two bones in each arm.
"But by the grace of God, I'm actually doing OK," he said.
Kinkade also described the 11-hour-long trip back down Mount Washington on a litter. The rescue began about 4 p.m. Saturday and ended about 3 a.m. last Sunday.
Kinkade spent most of the conversation Saturday expressing his gratitude for the help of some 30 mountain rescuers, including the many volunteers who worked for hours taking turns carrying him off the mountain. He says he'll make an effort to contact as many of them as possible.
"He was mostly conscious. His face was covered in blood, and he was in quite a lot of pain. When there's that much blood, it's tough to tell how badly the person is injured. But he was in bad shape, and it was obvious that both his arms were broken."
The hiking companion called for help. First on scene were responders from Mount Washington State Park, who descended from the summit. From below, Fish and Game conservation officers, volunteers from Mountain Rescue Service and Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue, Appalachian Mountain Club responders and other volunteers began hiking up from Pinkham Notch.
"I want to talk about the 30 volunteers that came up to get me. The focus should be more on them. You couldn't pay those guys enough money for what they do. They're volunteers who spent hours getting me out of there. They were unbelievable. I can't thank them enough."
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