Mount Major rescue

Emergency crews gather at the Mount Major trailhead Saturday for the rescue of a Massachusetts hiker who was carried down on a sled after falling and sliding off an icy trail.

ALTON — A Massachusetts hiker was injured Saturday when he slipped on an icy stretch and slid nearly 200 feet off a trail below the summit of Mount Major, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department said.

Matthew McGaunn, 19, of Topsfield, Mass., lost traction on a steep and icy section of the Blue Trail on Saturday afternoon, Fish and Game said in a release.

McGaunn, part of a group from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell’s outdoor adventure program, struck his head when he fell, according to the release.

Conservation officers joined crews from the Alton and Gilford fire departments in a rescue unit that hiked to McGaunn and loaded him on a rescue sled, the release said.

Because of the remote location and conditions, rescuers needed several hours to bushwhack through the steep terrain and reach the Mount Major trailhead, where a helicopter was waiting to fly him to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center shortly before 5 p.m., the release said.

“Bushwhacking actually saved us a lot of time and we were able to get him out,” said Ron Arsenault, a Fish and Game conservation officer who assisted with the rescue.

Arsenault said McGaunn was conscious and able to speak to rescuers while they carried him to safety.

While ascending the mountain, conservation officers encountered a group assisting a woman who had slipped in the icy conditions, the release said.

Emily Field, 26, of Medford, Mass., was taken by a conservation officer on an ATV to the trailhead, where she was evaluated by medical personnel and opted to seek treatment on her own, according to the release.