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Hiker dies after slipping on wet ledge descending popular Cannon Mountain

Franconia Notch, New Hampshire
(Image credit: Getty)

A man has died after slipping and falling while descending Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire – a popular destination for rock climbers and hikers.

Just before midday on Saturday August 21, New Hampshire Fish and Game (opens in new tab) received an alert that a person had fallen while making his way through the woods near Cannon Mountain Tram's ski trail.

The man and two companions had taken the tram to the mountaintop intending to hike around the summit, but once they reached the top. they decided to turn back and head back down. Rather than using a signposted and established hiking route like the Mittersill-Cannon Trail (opens in new tab), the trio chose to use what they thought was a ski trail that would lead them safely back to the bottom.

The route they found was much more technical than expected, with slick rocks, sheer drops, and a waterfall. Instead of doubling back and finding a suitable route intended for walkers, the three pressed on until one of them slipped on a wet ledge. First responders reached the man at the bottom of the waterfall, but found that he had passed away. Officials are withholding his identity until his family have been informed.

Hiking mistakes

We don't know whether the three hikers had much experience, but they appear to have made a couple of big mistakes on their trip. Hiking off-trail is an easy way to get lost, especially if you haven't planned your route in advanced and are confident navigating without signposts.

Underestimating the difficulty of a trail is another common mistake for new hikers who haven't fully scoped out their route beforehand, and may not know the limits of their abilities. There's no shame in turning back, and pressing on regardless can result in you being 'cliffed out (opens in new tab)' – unable to go forward or back.

Cat Ellis
Editor

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).