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Thread: NH Fish And Game Seeking Help With Missing Hiker

  1. #1
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    NH Fish And Game Seeking Help With Missing Hiker

    This post from the NH Fish And Game Department hit their Facebook Group about 5 minutes ago:

    ***New Hampshire Conservation Officers are seeking the public’s help locating an overdue hiker.***
    Emily Sotelo, 20, was dropped off this morning at Lafayette Place Campground in Franconia, with the intended hiking route of Mount Lafayette, Haystack and Flume.
    She is now overdue and any hikers who may have encountered Sotelo along the intended route should notify NH State Police Dispatch at (603)271-1170.
    Sotelo is described at 5’3, 115 lbs, brown hair, blue eyes. She was last seen wearing a brown jacket, and exercise pants."

    Not sure if anyone here was on the ridge today but if so you may be able to assist. FYI.

    EDIT: The Facebook Group has a photo. Can use this link if you're on FB: https://www.facebook.com/NewHampshireOperationGameThief
    Not sure why the page is Game Thief. She is described as an overdue hiker.
    Last edited by DayTrip; 11-20-2022 at 08:11 PM.

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    Not good, winds have been cranking up, its been flurrying all day and temps are dropping.

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    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Conditions on the ridge will not be easy, if she is inexperienced and ill prepared.

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    The PVSAR Facebook Group said it has sent out 3 teams to search. Purely speculation on my part but the limited description provided of a "brown coat and exercise pants" didn't sound encouraging. Doing Lafayette to Flume though sounds like the kind of route a more experienced hiker might attempt so hopefully she took a bail out route somewhere and gets picked up at an alternate trail head.

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    Senior Member CaptCaper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    The PVSAR Facebook Group said it has sent out 3 teams to search. Purely speculation on my part but the limited description provided of a "brown coat and exercise pants" didn't sound encouraging. Doing Lafayette to Flume though sounds like the kind of route a more experienced hiker might attempt so hopefully she took a bail out route somewhere and gets picked up at an alternate trail head.
    .
    We went thru the notch yesterday to hike in Waterville Valley and saw lot's of snow squals and very brisk cold wind. Not to mention the ice and snow there. One can imagine the things could of led to her disappearance.
    Last edited by CaptCaper; 11-21-2022 at 07:11 AM.

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    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, is not looking good for this poor girl. She was dropped off at the trailhead at 5 AM, by her mother, who watched her start off on the trail. "She was wearing windpants and sneakers and not prepared for the cold." At first I was wondering why the trailhead stewards didn't stop her but I'm thinking they are done for the year. Shame.
    Joe

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    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustJoe View Post
    ... "She was wearing windpants and sneakers and not prepared for the cold."
    Not good news.

    On WMUR report trails looked snowy and icy right from the start. I don't see how she'd get far without decent boots and traction. But I ain't 20.

    As usual, Sunday's frontal passage was well forecast with rapidly falling temps and increasing winds.

    Would a trail steward even be on duty at 5AM?

    18 teams and a Blackhawk now on the case.
    Don't let your mind write a check your body canít cash

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    18 teams and a Blackhawk now on the case.
    That is a lot of resources to come up with nothing so far. I'd think she got way off trail?? Was there enough snow up there to hide the foot bed? Maybe she made the classic wrong turn on Lafayette and headed down the GRT? She does have youth on her side. Hopefully it makes a positive difference.

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    One report is that S&R is searching drainages, one by one. Weather conditions were stiff and increasing from the west northwest. Odds are someone in trouble will head down into the Pemi to get out of the wind. That is a lot of nasty territory to cover.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JustJoe View Post
    She was dropped off at the trailhead at 5 AM, by her mother, who watched her start off on the trail.
    That must be agonizing for her mother.

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    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post

    Would a trail steward even be on duty at 5AM?
    Yeah, probably not.
    Joe

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    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post

    18 teams and a Blackhawk now on the case.
    They are splitting the resources up having some check all drainage in the area.
    Joe

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    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    The ridge is a double edge sword and always has been. If someone in trouble stays on the ridge, they can be found rather quickly. Unfortunately, bad weather forces people off the ridge and it doesn't matter which side they descend, it is a lot of ground to cover. If were to descend say "Lincolns Throat" a fall could result in a body being hidden behind rocks or in the scrub. Descending the Pemi side like in the area of Lincolns slide, could put you in that thick marshy area, while not terribly far from the trail, it's thick in there. If you set a bearing, you can get to the trail pretty quick, without a bearing you could wander for quite a while down there. I would at least send a small team in there looking.

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    PVSAR Facebook group reported "no news" 50 minutes ago. Barring some kind of amazing development this is probably not going to end well.

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    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    From a Boston Globe article this morning.



    "Sotelo, 19, lives in Westford. Colonel Kevin Jordan said she was seeking to finish hiking every 4,000-foot peak in New Hampshire before she turned 20 this week. “Nobody has seen or heard from her since,” Jordan said in a phone interview. The weather conditions were very cold and windy, and Jordan said, “We’re hearing she wasn’t prepared for that.” “We’re concerned about her,” he said. A Black Hawk helicopter was being used in the search.
    Her father, Jorge, said Sotelo enjoyed being outside and has done primitive camping before, but not in the bitter cold. “Emily loves the outdoors,” he said in a phone interview. Her mother, Olivera, said she had “four or five” mountains left on her list. “She was an experienced hiker for summer conditions. Not so much in winter,” she said."
    Joe

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