“. . . clubbing and spearing with trekking poles, stomping on each other with snowshoes and microspikes. . .it was absolutely medieval. . .
--Sunday, February 13, 2021
A group of up to 20 hikers were involved in a brawl on top of New Hampshire’s Mount Lafayette on Sunday, according to bystanders who witnessed and filmed the melee. The fight seemed to have begun with verbal disagreement about the use, or lack thereof, of snowshoes.
“They were beating each other. . . clubbing and spearing with trekking poles, stomping on each other with snowshoes and microspikes,” said hiker John Dowgh, who saw the event unfold. “Two of them were wrestling and ended up sliding down the mountain about 100 feet and bouncing off rocks. It was absolutely medieval. I’m glad none of them were carrying an ice ax.”
The altercation, which onlookers said lasted about 15 minutes, began with a group wearing snowshoes accusing a snowshoe-less group of “ruining the trail” by “postholing”—the practices of leaving awkward holes in deep snow instead of tracking out a trail neatly with snowshoes. The verbal exchange quickly devolved into shoving and then blows. Although the combatants eventually went their separate ways, some of them bloodied and bruised, officers with the New Hampshire Fish & Game are seeking information on their identity in order to press charges.
“Animosity between the snowshoes vs. post-holing crowd isn’t new,” said Larry Lawson of the Fish & Game. “But this is the first time I’ve heard it coming to blows. Our motto here in New Hampshire is Live Free or Die—which, sure, encourages people to act like ignoramuses, but no matter what you think about postholers—regardless of how selfish you think they are—physical violence is never the answer.”
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