Two rescued hiking parties may face charges for unpreparedness
NEW HAMPSHIRE (WGME) -- Fish and Game Conservation Officers responded to two rescue calls on Mt. Washington nearly simultaneous on Saturday night. The first call came in around 6:45 p.m. when Dyxie Lopez, 22, Providence, Rhode Island became too fatigued to continue hiking and called 911.
Lopez and her hiking companions, Jonathan Garcia, 27, of Providence and Daniel Corominas, 27, Seekonk, Massachusetts had hiked to the summit of Mt. Washington expecting to take the Cog Railway down. Finding out the train was not running they started down the Auto Road until exhaustion led to the call for help.
Conservation Officers were able to drive up the auto road and transported the hikers back to Pinkham Appalachian Mountain Club.
The second call came in at 7:00 p.m. with 8 hikers who were lost on the Boot Spur Trail.
Officials say that the hikers, all from Connecticut and between 19 and 21, were attempting to come down Boot Spur Trail when they got lost and called 911 for assistance. Fortunately they met up with three other hikers who provided guidance and led them down the trail.
Unfortunately the group did not call rescuers to report they were on the trail and a rescue effort was commenced. Rescuers from AMC and Forest Service Snow Rangers along with conservation officers began hiking up to rescue the group when they were met only 20 minutes up the trail from Pinkham AMC.
According to the hikers they had hiked to the summit of Mt. Washington with the intent of taking the Cog Railway down. When it was discovered that the train was not running, they decided to take the Boot Spur back down to Pinkham.
The group was not prepared for a prolonged hike in the White Mountains with inadequate clothing, cotton t-shirts, jeans, sweat pants and shorts. In addition they had no flashlights or headlamps, only the light from a cell phone.
The group made it down at around 9 p.m. exhausted, wet and cold but without the assistance from the other hikers they could have faced serious medical consequences.
Due to the lack of preparedness the group could be potentially facing charges for the cost of the rescue.