New Hampshire Fish and Game officials say they had to rescue three hikers and a dog over the weekend. The hikers ran into trouble on Little Haystack Mountain in Grafton County. NHPR’s Chris Jensen has more.
(Jensen) A 29-year-old Manchester man used his cell phone late Saturday to call for help after it got dark before he could finish hiking down from Little Haystack Mountain.
For some Granite Staters the loon represents the state in a very emotional way, and supporters of the bird were out in force on Tuesday, defending a bill that would ban lead fishing gear. The bill was being heard by the House Fish and Game Committee, and attendees over-flowed out the door of a double capacity hearing room.
A Fish and Game official says four ill-equipped hikers from Massachusetts probably would have died Sunday on the Franconia Ridge had two Connecticut men not happened along. NHPR’s Chris Jensen has the story.
Brian Croce and a companion were working their way along the Franconia Ridge in blustery, frigid conditions Sunday afternoon.
Then they saw four people - three men and a woman - huddled together behind a rock.
“The guy told us that they desperately needed help and to call 911 for them.”
Typically winter hikers try to balance what they need with not turning themselves into recreational beasts of burden. But when searchers from New Hampshire Fish and Game head into the mountains they don’t have the luxury of light weight.
They have to be ready for almost any contingency including uncooperative if not perverse weather. And, that translates into pounds.
“I’d say my ruck weighs approximately fifty-five pounds,” says Conservation Officer Brad Morse, who often heads into The White Mountains looking for a lost or injured hiker.
While he was hunkered down in his sleeping bag waiting to be rescued from just below the Franconia Ridge a man from Maine says he was no longer worried about himself, but about the Fish and Game officers headed his way in the dark, poor visibility and high winds.
“You feel kind of horrible putting other people in that situation,” said Evan Embrey, 24, of Buxton, Maine.
Embrey told NHPR he was hiking on the ridge between Mt. Lafayette and Little Haystack Mountain when winds picked up,
“It was pushing me over, so it had to be gusts of 50 or 60 mile per hour,” he said.