Fish and Game assists two different groups on Mt. Washington
SARGENT'S PURCHASE — Fish and Game Conservation Officers responded to two separate rescue calls on Mt. Washington that occurred almost simultaneously on Saturday night.
Officers said the first call came in at about 6:45 p.m. when Dyxie Lopez, 22, and Jonathan Garcia, 27, both of Providence, Rhode Island, became too fatigued to continue hiking and called 911.
Officers said the pair had hiked to the summit of Mt. Washington expecting to take the Cog Railway down. However, they learned that the train was not running, so they started down the Auto Road until exhaustion led them to call for help.
Conservation Officers were able to drive up the auto road and transported the hikers back to Pinkham AMC.
The second call came in at about 7 p.m. from 8 hikers who were lost on the Boot Spur Trail.
Officers said that Dominic Rivera, 20, Elijah Sanchez, 20, Joseph Santiago Lopez, 19, Caleb Pehowdy, 21, Julian Andiarena, 21, Cory Shea, 21, all of Willimantic, Connecticut, and Kevin Lynch, 19, and Andrew Stutts, 19, of Manchester, Connecticut, were attempting to descend the Boot Spur Trail when they got lost and called 911 for assistance.
After calling for assistance, officers said the group met up with three other hikers who provided guidance and led them down the trail, but they failed to notify rescuers that they had found their way 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 located only 20 minutes up the trail from Pinkham AMC.
The hikers said they too had hiked to the summit of Mt. Washington with the intent of taking the Cog Railway down. When they discovered that the train was not running, they decided to take the Boot Spur Trail back down to Pinkham.
Officers said members of the group were wearing cotton t-shirts, jeans, sweatpants and shorts, and were not prepared for a prolonged hike. They also had no flashlights or headlamps, relying only on cell phone light.
The group made it down at around 9 p.m. and officers said they were exhausted, wet and cold, but without the assistance from the other hikers the outcome could've been much worse.
Officers said the group could be potentially facing charges for the cost of the rescue because of their lack of preparation.