Marty and I weren't sure what to say, if anything about this, but we talked this morning and decided we owe it to Ray. And to everyone who worked so hard to bring Ray down. Marty asked me to write something,as he is very busy with calling folks who were close to Ray, and helping Ray's cousin, his only living relative, to make arrangements. Marty will add his thoughts as he has time.
I'm not sure what to say, but I'll do my best.
First off, Ray was a strong hiker, and had done much more arduous hikes than this.
Marty, Ray, and I met at Munroe's for breakfast, where Ray picked up the tab, ever the gentleman. We headed off to PatN, and made it to the false summit around 11. Ray sat down on a log, and said he was feeling "heartburn" in his whole chest area, and slightly dizzy, but that it would come and go. we decided immediately to go down. After a couple minutes resting, Ray said he felt better, and we began to head down. Not 20 step into our descent, Ray moaned and collapsed. He was unresponsive, and we began CPR immediately and Marty called 911.
We were unsuccessful at reviving Ray, obviously.
NH F&G, and Pemi SAR made good time to us, and I want to thank them profusely. Each and every one of them were amazing. Bringing Ray off that mountain was a Herculean task. SAR decided to bring him down the way they had come up which was off the east side of the mountain, much farther up the road than where we had headed into the woods. There was a herd path there, and with darkness appraoching, that seemed like the most direct route to a road. This route drops 1200 feet in .5 miles, and these folks were simply amazing with the care they took with Ray. I cannot begin to express my gratitude for their hard work, and care. I wish I could remember all your names, but I can't. Thank you all so much.
I also want to thank all the folks on this forum. Your kind words, and heartfelt sympathy mean a great deal to Marty and I.
Sapblatt, I want to thank you for staying with Marty last night, you're a friend of the highest order.
Ray, if you can hear me, I owe you breakfast when we meet again.