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Thread: Rescue on Black Angel Trail

  1. #1
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    Rescue on Black Angel Trail

    I haven't found a news article yet but WMUR reported a rescue of 5 hikers on Black Angel trail on Sunday. They were cold and wet due to unexpected snow encountered. Black Angel trail is not a typical day hike in the short days in the fall and I would assume that it would be of more interest to a red liner then neophytes. It is a fine trail, well graded almost all the way to the ridgeline and it goes through some nice hardwoods but its a long haul from the Wild River trailhead. It likely would get less traffic so maybe that was the attraction?

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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I haven't found a news article yet but WMUR reported a rescue of 5 hikers on Black Angel trail on Sunday. They were cold and wet due to unexpected snow encountered. Black Angel trail is not a typical day hike in the short days in the fall and I would assume that it would be of more interest to a red liner then neophytes. It is a fine trail, well graded almost all the way to the ridgeline and it goes through some nice hardwoods but its a long haul from the Wild River trailhead. It likely would get less traffic so maybe that was the attraction?
    It wouldn't surprise me at all if this group was neophytes searching for a less crowded route to a summit. I know I did the same thing when I started to get serious about hiking as my primary leisure time activity.

    Hopefully, over time, this surge will thin out but we should expect that a sub-set is hooked.

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    https://whdh.com/news/new-hampshire-...ountain-trail/

    Wow, very interesting and somewhat atypical rescue. Second night of a planned multi-day backpack.

    This type of trip is very similar to my evolution as a hiker/backpacker. My first couple of trips were AMC-led groups and those AMC trip leaders were just excellent. I learned so much.

    I would love to know if this was their first multi-day trip. Shoulder Season in the Whites can certainly present challenges.

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    Wet sleeping bags? Did they not have tents? Or were they using tarps and no bivy sacks? Jeez. Black Angel trail is one I enjoyed hiking while were were on it. Right where the trail takes a sharp right turn to go up the flank of the Carters a tree had fallen and we never saw the sharp turn. It looked like the trail continued straight for 50 yards or so, then petered out. We stood there scratch our heads and I pulled out my phone with the Gaia app and saw that we were off the trail. If we take a right turn where we are, we should run into the trail. We started bushwacking from there, but never ran into the trail. Its mostly hardwoods there so the walking was fairly easy. I kept checking Gaia and it said we were still just off the trail. Kept bearing right more and more, but still the app said we were just off the trail. WTF? We kept going up and side-hilling and the terrain became more uneven. It looked like erosion channels that had forested over, probably when the Wild River Wilderness burned 100 years ago. We finally said screw it, we'll just bushwack back down to the river and we came across the trail. We followed that back down until we saw where the right turn was we missed and realized the fallen tree had blocked our view of the turn. It was about this time of year, too. Still want to go back and finish that trail.

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    A friend and I did Black Angel as a day hike (long car sopt) the year before they took the Moriah Brook bridge. We were expecting a typical Wilderness area hunt for the trailbed but instead found a remarkably well maintained. I remember it as very well graded top to bottom. My guess is they were already in panic mode before the took the turn down and then some incident finally pushed them over the edge. A heck of lot easier to come back up to the ridge and take Carter Dome trail then to head down into the Wild River.

  7. #7
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I haven't found a news article yet but WMUR reported a rescue of 5 hikers on Black Angel trail on Sunday. They were cold and wet due to unexpected snow encountered. Black Angel trail is not a typical day hike in the short days in the fall and I would assume that it would be of more interest to a red liner then neophytes. It is a fine trail, well graded almost all the way to the ridgeline and it goes through some nice hardwoods but its a long haul from the Wild River trailhead. It likely would get less traffic so maybe that was the attraction?
    I hiked in Wild River Wilderness the SUN of Columbus Day Weekend and saw about 30 people on a relatively short loop (one was a group of 9 on a multi-day trip). Almost all of the people I talked to, including the large group, said they had planned to hike somewhere else but the parking lots were full. I came down the Basin Trail to the Wild River Trailhead lot and it was completely full with more than the occasional car going in or out hoping to steal a vacant spot. I did the road walk a few miles back to my car at Burnt Mill Brook Trailhead and came across two guys at the Shelbourne Trailherad, one putting a baby in a carrier who asked me if this trail was any good. I advised about the ford of the river and suggested they try and get a spot at Wild River and just follow the trail there. These people were most definitely hikers. People were definitely wandering down that road to get away from crowded parking lots on Rte 113.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; ADK 46: 6/46; Cat 3.5k 10/35

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    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    Another VFTTer and I were on Moriah on Sunday. All the light fluffy snow from Saturday was still in the pines, and when the sun came out and it got warmer, it all came down as "rain." We had to put on rain jackets and pack covers. It was quite drenching, even though there were blue skies above.

    I suspect this group suffered from the same thing, only didn't have pack covers--or even proper rain gear.

    Brian

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