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Thread: NH Fish And Game Seeking Help With Missing Hiker

  1. #61
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    I'd like to see solar powered electronic signboards at high-incident trail heads, similar to the ones used along highways.

    They could display up-to-date information about trail condition, weather above treeline, and expected changes in weather in next 24 hours.

    Keep signboards blacked out until someone walks near, then activate the display. Save batt and less visual pollution.

    Who owns content and update? F&G seems logical since they get the call outs.
    You could even incorporate a USB Charging station for those who forgot to charge their gadgets before entering the woods. And while your at it put your order in for you drone delivered summit pizza.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  2. #62
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    RIP and condolences to the family.

    As Mainiac posted earlier, other folks successfully did this hike on Sunday. Conditions were nasty and degrading over the course of the day up in Gorham despite an okay forecast and conditions like that can be problem in particular for highly motivated solo hikers who think they can beat the weather (Kate M). If as described, the hiker ended up in Lafayette Ravine, the official trail from the hut to the summit wraps around from the SE to the NW of the summit cone to a head of the valley with full exposure to the west and NW winds which are somewhat tempered by Cannon down lower. There is an area of the trail where it turns sharply SE and up hill that goes up a fairly featureless chute that builds up ice fairly early in the season. The hike up until that point has fairly textured trail bed that can be climbed without traction but in the area described there are far less options for traction and if someone slips they end up below the trail. Unless someone makes a deliberate slab upslope they will miss getting back on the trail. Many experienced hikers, skip this section entirely and take an unofficial winter route almost due west from the trail to the the summit up a boulderly stretch and then rapidly merge into the official screed in route above the difficult section I described.

    To date I havent seen any formal plans for the 2 million dollars that AMC got to rebuild the loop. Folks with better contacts than I have made inquiries but apparently the AMC is unwilling or unable to supply a plan. Trails in the whites on occasion have been hardened and redefined but that is major proposition and would probably get a lot of pushback like the blasting of the Wildcat Ridge Trail many years ago. I have done the loop many times in winter and winter conditions and every trip inevitably includes numerous underequipped hikers without proper gear taking significant risks. I dont think flashing signboards or weather forecasts are going to stop many people who have driven up or planned a vacation around climbing a trail. The vast majority are going to rationalize that they will head up the trail and turn around if it becomes nasty. Assuming the hiker went up OBP, it's a remarkably well sheltered route up to the hut that lulls hikers into complacency. I have on my own and with groups run hiker in winter conditions up the hut where the weather was quite reasonable at the hut that ended up having to turn around before summitting. Once the trail breaks treeline and starts to swing from SE to NW of the summit cone the wind exposure can increase exponentially. We inevitably gear up in the trees below in what would be incredibly hot gear just a few minutes before.

    No doubt the trail steward program has helped some folks stay out of trouble but as far as I know they dont have the authority to stop anyone and anyone who wants to can walk right by them.

  3. #63
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    I must say, this one is especially perplexing to me. Just doesn't make a lot of sense.

  4. #64
    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    So many scenarios. Since f&g said she was found at the headwaters of Lafayette Brook, it is possible she made it to the hut and decided to turn around. Easily could have been in early stages of hypothermia at that point. She could have mistakenly taken Greenleaf down. That trail takes a dramatic left turn. If disoriented at all, it could have been easy for her to keep going straight which would have landed her at the headwaters of Lafayette Brook. They found some of her belongings there indicating she was in hypothermic and removing items at that point. It it very sad, regardless if she could have avoided this outcome.
    Joe

  5. #65
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    Once a solo hiker is hypothermic its game over.

  6. #66
    Senior Member TEO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NHClimber View Post
    Just doesn't make a lot of sense.
    Sadly, it makes sense if you assume that she was relatively new to hiking, didn't have a knowledgeable hiking mentor¬ómaybe instead she saw people's social media posts showing the awesome views/good times¬óand she likely hadn't encountered challenging conditions before.

    Tragically her death was so easily preventable with a little knowledge and preparation, e.g. checking the forecast and understanding what that meant in terms of required clothing and gear. We all are unprepared, poorly equipped at some point in our hiking journey, but it's heartbreaking that Emily Sotero never had the opportunity to learn from her mistakes, the way most of us do.

  7. #67
    Member Montana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustJoe View Post
    So many scenarios. Since f&g said she was found at the headwaters of Lafayette Brook, it is possible she made it to the hut and decided to turn around. Easily could have been in early stages of hypothermia at that point. She could have mistakenly taken Greenleaf down. That trail takes a dramatic left turn. If disoriented at all, it could have been easy for her to keep going straight which would have landed her at the headwaters of Lafayette Brook. They found some of her belongings there indicating she was in hypothermic and removing items at that point. It it very sad, regardless if she could have avoided this outcome.
    that’s exactly what I as thinking. Tragic ending.

  8. #68
    Senior Member CaptCaper's Avatar
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    Seems she wanted to finish the 48 list before her birthday. Only those few left to do. Maybe I've been hiking too long and can't realize how someone could put themselves in that situation with the clothes,tech stuff,etc out there for one to use. Like Kate,the ranger from Mt. Monadnock back when they just have to get it done.

  9. #69
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    The rush to finish reminds me of a man back I believe in the 90's that was finishing the NE 100 and in bad weather pushed to do Fort in BSP and didn't make it back. (It may have been before an age or his last chance that year before the park closed, I forget. I knew about it when I did Fort and the Brothers in August or September of 1998 but it was fairly fresh in my mind at the time. If I "misremember" (TY Roger C.) correctly a couple of people turned back because they couldn't find the herd path in the rain and it may have been dark.

    If signs were thought to stop even one person, I'd be okay with it, the trailhead there or in many other locations isn't a wilderness experience it's 100 ft or yards from a major highway. In CT, they are adding sensors and flashing redlights to exits to prevent people from getting on the highway the wrong way. In my youth and as the worlds (in my drunken mind at the time.) best drunk driver, I would have blown through those before they would have flashed more than one or twice, but if they save one life, it was money well spent.

    This hurts more as a parent than a NH hiker.

    Being Chicken Little in a FB Hiking Group may be the best reason I can think of why I might actually join Zuck's silly service.
    Last edited by Mike P.; 11-23-2022 at 05:00 PM.
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

  10. #70
    Senior Member Frodo's Avatar
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    Sad outcome... I feel really bad for her and her family. I agree with Peakbagger. There is that turn you take about .2 miles from the summit that is typically icy this time of year, and once you get by it, the wind hits you. I was up there on Sunday trail running in Lincoln Woods and the snow squalls were brief, but heavy. She could have encountered brief whiteout conditions in that area and possibly turned around and lost the trail. In these snow squalls, tracks disappear quickly... She was probably trying to bail at this point and thought she was doing the right thing by heading down, but was off trail. Once you hit the krummholz, it gets much harder to descend. Based on what she was reportedly wearing, I doubt she would have developed hypothermia while moving below tree line out of the wind. Just my thoughts…
    "The goggles, they do nothing!"

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  11. #71
    Senior Member iAmKrzys's Avatar
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    Truly sad ending. I feel really sorry for her family.

  12. #72
    Senior Member richard's Avatar
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    https://www.foxnews.com/us/new-hamps...hite-mountains. News report

    Latest information here.https://youtu.be/drNJX7pKJBs
    Detailed video **
    Last edited by richard; 11-24-2022 at 10:38 AM.

  13. #73
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richard View Post
    https://www.foxnews.com/us/new-hamps...hite-mountains. News report

    Latest information here.https://youtu.be/drNJX7pKJBs
    Detailed video **
    Interesting Richard.

    The YouTube video is the first place I've seen her activity described as "mountain running" and not hiking.

    Her level of kit would bear this theory out.
    Don't let your mind write a check your body canít cash

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by NHClimber View Post
    I must say, this one is especially perplexing to me. Just doesn't make a lot of sense.
    Assuming she was descending from Lafayette on Old Bridle Path, the OBP takes a turn to the southeast just before Lafayette spring. In this area, the cairns are scarce. With poor visibility, it would be very easy to lose the trail by continuing in a northwest direction down into the drainage.

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peaks View Post
    Assuming she was descending from Lafayette on Old Bridle Path, the OBP takes a turn to the southeast just before Lafayette spring. In this area, the cairns are scarce. With poor visibility, it would be very easy to lose the trail by continuing in a northwest direction down into the drainage.
    Yes, understood. I was thinking just more generally. Not being equipped properly, monitoring weather, Etc.

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