Welcome to the AppalachianTrailCafe.net!
Take a moment and register and then join the conversation

Hiker Rescues and Fatalities

    This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy.

    • IMScotty wrote:

      Unbelievably yet another hiker has died on Franconia Ridge.
      Described as 'Inexperienced.'
      Made it further along than Emily in brutally cold weather.

      boston.com/news/local-news/202…recovered-sunday-morning/
      From China it seems. The one blip I've read, "Inexperienced" and "unknown what gear they had".
      I'm in Texas and I knew how bad this storm was! We were below freezing for some 60 hours, which is major news here in the Dallas area. We had zero precipitation to deal with or the state would have shut down. And I knew it was heading to our east coast relatives. I really wonder about some of theses peoples mental state. Condolences to his family.
      Pirating – Corporate Takeover without the paperwork
    • rhjanes wrote:

      I'm in Texas and I knew how bad this storm was! We were below freezing for some 60 hours, which is major news here in the Dallas area. We had zero precipitation to deal with or the state would have shut down.
      I read it was so cold that Ted Cruz was frantically looking for way he could flee to Cancun again without getting caught.
      2,000 miler
    • RHJanes,
      I also wonder about the hiker's frame of mind, but I don't want to speculate. I would hate to add to the grief of the family in case they show up in our little forum. What we keep seeing is that 'highly motivated' does not always mix well with inexperienced.

      I may have spoke too soon about him making it further than Emily. I saw another article that indicated he was doing the loop counterclockwise (Falling Waters first). It is not clear if he made it to the top of Mount Lincoln.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • Why......I can't understand this. These 2 kids...they had cell phones....you don't even have to ask it the weather! When you get out of the car and look up at Franconia Ridge....it still scares the crap out of me!!! Are all of these mental health issues in our children from all those drugs and alcohol we consumed when we were youngsters?!
      Cheesecake> Ramen :thumbsup:
    • A few more details in the NH SAR report
      Overdue Hiker Located Deceased
      Franconia, NH: Just after 9:00 PM on December 24th NH Fish and Game Conservation Officers were notified of an overdue hiker who had been hiking the 8.6 mile Bridle Path/Falling Waters Loop. The 28 year old lone male hiker had departed at around 11:00 AM. A family member in China had tracked the progress of the hiker throughout the day and at 6:15 PM the family member reported that the hiker’s phone was going dead and it appeared as though the hiker was off trail south of Mount Lincoln. The hiker was described by family as inexperienced and it was unknown what he was carrying for equipment. With temperatures near zero a search for the hiker commenced. By 2:00 AM on December 25th a team of Conservation Officers had reached Franconia Ridge. Shortly after the team located what they believed to be the tracks of the hiker. The tracks continued off trail and ended up in a drainage that flows from between Little Haystack Mountain and Mount Lincoln. At 6:45 AM Conservation Officers located the body of the missing hiker about a half a mile from the Falling Waters Trail in Franconia. Rescuers arrived back at the trailhead at 2:30 PM on the 25th. At this time the identity of the hiker is being withheld until all family can be notified.
      its all good
    • max.patch wrote:

      rhjanes wrote:

      I'm in Texas and I knew how bad this storm was! We were below freezing for some 60 hours, which is major news here in the Dallas area. We had zero precipitation to deal with or the state would have shut down.
      I read it was so cold that Ted Cruz was frantically looking for way he could flee to Cancun again without getting caught.
      One of our daughters is a professional artist. She took a photo out her back door at the snow flurries, then got that photo of "Cruising Cruz" from when he headed to Cancun in our (almost) state wide power issues, and combined them.
      Pirating – Corporate Takeover without the paperwork
    • rhjanes wrote:

      max.patch wrote:

      rhjanes wrote:

      I'm in Texas and I knew how bad this storm was! We were below freezing for some 60 hours, which is major news here in the Dallas area. We had zero precipitation to deal with or the state would have shut down.
      I read it was so cold that Ted Cruz was frantically looking for way he could flee to Cancun again without getting caught.
      One of our daughters is a professional artist. She took a photo out her back door at the snow flurries, then got that photo of "Cruising Cruz" from when he headed to Cancun in our (almost) state wide power issues, and combined them.
      lol, I'd love to see that. SNL (of course) did a great job with that also.
      2,000 miler
    • A clip from a Boston Globe article (behind a paywall) on the most recent fatality.

      "“He did have some [ice] traction devices... but [as] for spare or extra clothing, he had really none at all,” Kneeland said. “He was wearing goggles, but... we could not find any kind of a light source that would’ve aided him after dark. Simply just finding the trail markers without a light in pitch black is next to impossible.”
      Kneeland said he believes Li was trying to navigate the trails using a cellphone, without a compass or paper map as a backup. When Li’s phone died, Kneeland added, it probably “led him to go off-trail.”"


      Lt. Kneeland (of NH Fish & Game) was quoted in the article speaking against people hiking alone. I understand his perspective as a rescuer, but I also confess I do not want to be part of a world where 'hiking alone' is considered unreasonable. Perhaps these hikers with no Winter experience should not have hiked without more experienced guidance, but I oppose any blanket provisions against hiking alone.

      Another interesting part of the article described this hikers clothing as...

      "Li appeared to be wearing ski gear, Kneeland said, which protects against the cold, but does not account for the extra sweat that builds up while hiking.
      “You need to get that moisture away from your body,” Kneeland said, “so you really want to pay attention to layering when you’re going to be doing a lot more exertion.”

      Such great advice above and clearly an area where more novice hiker education needs to occur. The comment section of this article had several people noting the 11 AM start time as being an extremely poor decision given the conditions and difficulty of this loop. His only light source was perhaps his phone. No gear for overnight. :(
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • IMScotty wrote:

      I must admit, I am confused by this story. Rescued because it was dark and they were surrounded by cliffs?Dod they go off-trail?
      Guess they were not prepared to spend the night?
      I have also been wondering about this but so far, haven’t seen any details.

      Several years ago, a GSMNP employee got lost or stuck at the top of Alum Cave Bluff (maybe she climbed up there?). Due to the failing light and dangerous drop offs, SAR was called. Maybe it’s a similar situation?
      Lost in the right direction.
    • I can't figure it out either. Even in the snow, I had no problems following the AT Between Allen Gap and Devils Fork Gap. Maybe they were just generic hiker trash and not 'real' AT hiker trash. ?!?!?!?
      Trudgin' along the AT since 2003. Completed Sections: Springer Mountain to Winding Stair Gap NC, Fontana Dam to Clingmans Dome, and Max Patch NC to Gorham NH

      "The days I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations...those are pretty good days." Ray Wylie Hubbard
    • Some additional information on the second fatality on Franconia Ridge this winter, Guopeng 'Tony' Li.

      This is from the Coos County Democrat. The article was titled "Inexperience Claims Hiker's Life.' He was climbing Mt. Lafayette solo on n 8.5 mile loop, Christmas Eve, and left at 11 AM. Just a few quotes...

      "At the time it was zero degrees, with high winds."

      "Li's late start was against him from the word go. With only five hours of daylight, for a trail that usually takes about eight in the summer, the odds were against him.'

      He was found off trail, it appears he lost the trail. No winter shelter, food or light source carried.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • IMScotty wrote:

      Some additional information on the second fatality on Franconia Ridge this winter, Guopeng 'Tony' Li.

      This is from the Coos County Democrat. The article was titled "Inexperience Claims Hiker's Life.' He was climbing Mt. Lafayette solo on n 8.5 mile loop, Christmas Eve, and left at 11 AM. Just a few quotes...

      "At the time it was zero degrees, with high winds."

      "Li's late start was against him from the word go. With only five hours of daylight, for a trail that usually takes about eight in the summer, the odds were against him.'

      He was found off trail, it appears he lost the trail. No winter shelter, food or light source carried.
      What would possess someone to make the attempt in such challenging conditions? Tik Tok challenge? An acquaintance that told him it would be fun and easy? Trying to impress the friends / family back in China?

      Rhetorical questions at this point.
      Trudgin' along the AT since 2003. Completed Sections: Springer Mountain to Winding Stair Gap NC, Fontana Dam to Clingmans Dome, and Max Patch NC to Gorham NH

      "The days I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations...those are pretty good days." Ray Wylie Hubbard
    • IMScotty wrote:

      A clip from a Boston Globe article (behind a paywall) on the most recent fatality.

      Lt. Kneeland (of NH Fish & Game) was quoted in the article speaking against people hiking alone. I understand his perspective as a rescuer, but I also confess I do not want to be part of a world where 'hiking alone' is considered unreasonable. Perhaps these hikers with no Winter experience should not have hiked without more experienced guidance, but I oppose any blanket provisions against hiking alone.

      Another interesting part of the article described this hikers clothing as...

      "Li appeared to be wearing ski gear, Kneeland said, which protects against the cold, but does not account for the extra sweat that builds up while hiking.
      “You need to get that moisture away from your body,” Kneeland said, “so you really want to pay attention to layering when you’re going to be doing a lot more exertion.”

      Such great advice above and clearly an area where more novice hiker education needs to occur. The comment section of this article had several people noting the 11 AM start time as being an extremely poor decision given the conditions and difficulty of this loop. His only light source was perhaps his phone. No gear for overnight. :(
      I agree 100% that there should not be rules/provisions/stigma against hiking alone. Each hiker needs to be responsible for their behavior. Hikers should take time to educate themselves about hiking safety, including appropriate gear, about the terrain they will be hiking, about the weather conditions.
    • odd man out wrote:

      I always get annoyed when solo backpackpackers are called irresponsible while base jumpers and free climbers are called inspirational.
      I think its more about experience and preparation. A novice climber should be on a rope, until he has developed the ability and confidence to climb ropeless.
      Also you can have a pair of novice hikers that get into trouble. Mostly due to a lack of preparation.
      its all good
    • I am so glad I hiked the AT NoBo. I learned a lot to help prepare me for what was next (along with some great advice from people on this site). :)

      SoBo would have found me personally unprepared pretty quick. :S
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • hikerboy wrote:

      odd man out wrote:

      I always get annoyed when solo backpackpackers are called irresponsible while base jumpers and free climbers are called inspirational.
      I think its more about experience and preparation. A novice climber should be on a rope, until he has developed the ability and confidence to climb ropeless.Also you can have a pair of novice hikers that get into trouble. Mostly due to a lack of preparation.
      but even for the most experienced and skilled, those activities are way more dangerous than backpacking solo.
    • New

      odd man out wrote:

      I always get annoyed when solo backpackpackers are called irresponsible while base jumpers and free climbers are called inspirational.
      I think its more about experience and preparation. A novice climber should be on a rope, until he has developed the ability and confidence to climb ropeless.
      Also you can have a pair of novice hikers that get into trouble. Mostly due to a lack of preparation.

      odd man out wrote:

      hikerboy wrote:

      odd man out wrote:

      I always get annoyed when solo backpackpackers are called irresponsible while base jumpers and free climbers are called inspirational.
      I think its more about experience and preparation. A novice climber should be on a rope, until he has developed the ability and confidence to climb ropeless.Also you can have a pair of novice hikers that get into trouble. Mostly due to a lack of preparation.
      but even for the most experienced and skilled, those activities are way more dangerous than backpacking solo.
      the one comfort is that free solo climbers and base jumpers have a considerably shorter life span.
      its all good
    • New

      Forecast for Mount Washington this weekend is for -100 degrees F. Authorities are already warning hikers that rescue will not be possible in those conditions.

      So...how many people will give it a shot anyway?
      Trudgin' along the AT since 2003. Completed Sections: Springer Mountain to Winding Stair Gap NC, Fontana Dam to Clingmans Dome, and Max Patch NC to Gorham NH

      "The days I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations...those are pretty good days." Ray Wylie Hubbard
    • New

      StalkingTortoise wrote:

      Forecast for Mount Washington this weekend is for -100 degrees F. Authorities are already warning hikers that rescue will not be possible in those conditions.

      So...how many people will give it a shot anyway?
      Mount Washington sounds a little chilly.
      I think I'll just bring a 'day pack' and hike Franconia Ridge instead! :(


      Just in case some newb comes across this post: Sarcasm Alert!
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • New

      IMScotty wrote:

      Local story out near the Berkshires. They helped an old guy out of the woods before it got too cold last night.
      The video of the rescue is worth watching...

      boston.com/news/local-news/202…ed-in/?p1=hp_featurestack
      Good job by the rescue personnel!

      I agree with your description that the man was an old guy. I disagree with the reporter that he was elderly. Based on my observations of peeps currently and in the recent decades, here's my definition of peeps over 60:

      60 - 69 young old aka senior
      70 - 79 old
      80 - 89 elderly
      90 - 99 golden-ager
      100+ ancient

      YMMV :)