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Thread: Hiker dies on Jewell Trail.

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    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    Hiker dies on Jewell Trail.

    First, thoughts and prayers to his family. Can't find any news link at the moment. Just a link to The Pemi Search & Rescue FB page. By what I'm reading, he must have been pretty close to the top of the Jewell Trail were he would have been exposed. They are talking a lot about the weather conditions and how cold it was. Possibility, indicating this could have been related to hypothermia. Didn't realize the weather was like that yesterday. Ironically, this is very close to where the fellow was rescued and later died from hypothermia last June.

    Not sure if you need an FB account to see this.
    https://www.facebook.com/pemisar/pos...jjWYacTA7Zxiil
    Joe

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    Quote Originally Posted by JustJoe View Post
    First, thoughts and prayers to his family. Can't find any news link at the moment. Just a link to The Pemi Search & Rescue FB page. By what I'm reading, he must have been pretty close to the top of the Jewell Trail were he would have been exposed. They are talking a lot about the weather conditions and how cold it was. Possibility, indicating this could have been related to hypothermia. Didn't realize the weather was like that yesterday. Ironically, this is very close to where the fellow was rescued and later died from hypothermia last June.

    Not sure if you need an FB account to see this.
    https://www.facebook.com/pemisar/pos...jjWYacTA7Zxiil
    I was just reading this on FB as well. When I saw the "unhappy ending" part I was assuming heart attack when I saw the "medical emergency" term used. But they did make a big deal about the weather so it may have been exposure. I almost went up for a sunset hike yesterday on Monroe but decided against it due to the forecast high winds (which make taking a still shot in low lighting just about impossible). These conditions sound worse than forecast (at least as of FRI night). At the time I checked I don't remember the temps or wind chill being that low even for overnight. Curious to get more details on what cause of death was. Seems like an uptick in the frequency of these unfortunate stories this year. Whatever the reason it always sucks.
    Last edited by DayTrip; 07-31-2022 at 04:34 PM. Reason: grammar

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    RIP to the hiker and condolences to the family.

    Not specific to this hikers demise but a general observation about the "unexpected windy and freezing conditions on the Jewell trail"

    Conditions on Saturday were a classic for unprepared hikers in the whites. The majority regional weather casts for the Saturday were for warm to hot sunny conditions with a slight chance of late hit or miss showers in northern NH. On occasion there might be a mention of a bit cloudier in the far north. I did not check the Obs higher summits forecast on Friday night as I was at an RMC fundraiser. I woke up early Saturday AM and decided to go hiking and wanted an early start, so I skipped higher summits forecast since I was heading to Owls Head. I do carry a light merino top and bottoms in the pack along with hat, lightweight balaclava, liner gloves, mitts and light fleece. It was foggy in the AM with the summits in the clouds down to or blow 4 K. I get a view west towards VT on my drive south on RT 3 to Lincoln Woods. Usually that is good indication of the mornings weather and it was lot cloudier than expected. Heading up the Lincoln Woods trail the view at the washout up the valley was mostly cloudy down below North Hitchcock. It was cool and a nice temp for hiking. Lincoln Woods Trail is not a sunny route but looking up it was gray. Heading up Owl slide the views over at the Franconia Ridge were clouds all along the ridge to Liberty. It was also quite cool and windy down in the valley so I guessed the weather was not great for the Franconia Ridge loop. Once I got on top of the Owl ridge I cooled down and got out the fleece and liner gloves and kept them on until heading down. Most of the other folks at the summit were putting on an extra layer and the trail runners and underequipped like a group from a boys summer camp from VT were noticeably cooling down. I did get breaks of sun on occasion heading out but when I drove home up the notch it was still mostly cloudy on the summits. When I watched the news that night the weather person noted the upslope clouds that had formed and streaming in from VT all day.

    So, no doubt a casual weekend hiker not checking the OBs assumed that it was going to be a hot sunny day on Saturday while it was the opposite up on the summits. I am surprised there were not more rescues and expect the Cog and the autoroad sold a few downhill tickets. I saw plenty of folks walking up the Franconia Parkway on my drive and expect they had a less than stellar day on the ridge.

    I always carry warm gear for unexpected conditions and after my ankle break last November on warm day, it was reinforced that when sitting on the ground with an injury and most likely shock that every bit of that warm gear is not optional. Even with the extra gear I was starting to shiver.

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    Senior Member Rhody Seth's Avatar
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    I was going over the Wildcats on Saturday morning. I had considered crossing Route 16 and heading up Madison but I was feeling beat by that point. The other deciding factor was just how high the winds were gusting when I reached Carter Notch. I was very comfortable as I was working hard but it looked like Madison would be in the clouds and not particularly comfortable up there.

    RIP to this unfortunate hiker. I can definitely see people getting caught unawares up there as it looked lovely in the morning.

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    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    It's hard to get non experienced hikers to understand how bad it can get up there in the summer. I was over on Carr Mt near Rumney, it was hot enough to stick my head in the river on my descent. I did a double take when I heard the forecast for the rescue. In hindsight, maybe I should have done the Baldfaces, two of the remaining 5 for my dogs 52wav list, but we are waiting for a cool day.

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    Senior Member Grey J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    It's hard to get non experienced hikers to understand how bad it can get up there in the summer. I was over on Carr Mt near Rumney, it was hot enough to stick my head in the river on my descent. I did a double take when I heard the forecast for the rescue. In hindsight, maybe I should have done the Baldfaces, two of the remaining 5 for my dogs 52wav list, but we are waiting for a cool day.
    You are wise to wait for a cooler day for the Baldfaces. I did that hike on a hot summer day a few years ago and while I loved that loop, there is a lot of exposure on a sunny day. I got fried even though I was wearing a Foreign Legion hat to protect my neck as well as copious sunscreen. Went through 2 liters of water. Excellent loop regardless of choice of trails although the dogs might have trouble on the ledges. I ascended via Slippery Brook Trail which is the easier way up and also puts Baldface Knob in the loop.
    "I am a pilgrim and a stranger"

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    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    How many rescues/recoveries were there this weekend ? I have two possibly conflicting follow-ups:

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/mi...rs/ar-AA10bDPn

    AND

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/co...92dc27f88e6225

    A family friend with a dog just finished the AT on Saturday on Katahdin. I'd be worried it was them otherwise.
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

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    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey J View Post
    You are wise to wait for a cooler day for the Baldfaces. I did that hike on a hot summer day a few years ago and while I loved that loop, there is a lot of exposure on a sunny day. I got fried even though I was wearing a Foreign Legion hat to protect my neck as well as copious sunscreen. Went through 2 liters of water. Excellent loop regardless of choice of trails although the dogs might have trouble on the ledges. I ascended via Slippery Brook Trail which is the easier way up and also puts Baldface Knob in the loop.
    Thanks for the advice, I have already done Slippery brook trail ( when I ascended Eastman) and I plan on using that approach again. My dog could probably do the ledges no problem, but there is no need to push it. It's his coat that is his kryptonite, dark black and thick. He is so good in cooler temps, there is no need to make him suffer on a warm day. On a cool day, he will run that loop like the wind.

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    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    WTNH made correction, They were referencing the MO hiker.
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

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    I'm still not sure whether there was 1 on MW, or one on Jewell, and another on Gulfside later in the afternoon.

    There is never a good day to think you are more powerful than Mother Nature.

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    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    Some more details. Still no listed cause of death. Though a blow to the head by falling could easily have been fatal.

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/08/...nt-washington/
    Joe

  13. #13
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustJoe View Post
    Some more details. Still no listed cause of death. Though a blow to the head by falling could easily have been fatal.

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/08/...nt-washington/
    Sounds like he took a fall and that could have been the issue. I'll tell you, I've taken a few falls myself, some very severe. I once fell all the way down that steep slope on Jackson when it was covered in blue ice under a layer of light snow. The whole time I was falling, my main concern was not hitting my head. Once I did hit my head and it not only hurt, but scared the heck out of me. As a soloist, one false step could take a beautiful walk in the mountains and turn it into a disaster. Incidents like this poor man suffered, make me aware again how quickly things can turn out there.

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