Hikers not ready for deep snow and freezing rain on Mount Washington, NH rescuers say

Two Canadian hikers ended up calling 911 for help after battling winter conditions on Mount Washington, New Hampshire officials reported.

The hikers, who were wet and tired, called for rescue after they couldn’t continue in the deep snow at 5:18 p.m. Thursday, May 9, New Hampshire Fish & Game said in a news release.

Three conservation officers met the hikers at 10:10 p.m. and guided them to a road, where they were driven down the mountain, the agency said.

“The hikers did not take into account winter conditions with below freezing temperatures and rain,” the release said. “They also were not prepared to deal with deep snow.”

Conservation officers reminded visitors that winter conditions persist in the White Mountains, the release said.

At 6,288 feet, Mount Washington is the highest peak in the White Mountains, according to Brittanica.

About 400,000 people visit the mountain annually, the New Hampshire Bulletin reported.

Each year about 25 people require rescue on the mountain, according to the Mount Washington Avalanche Center.

How to be prepared while hiking

If you’re planning to hike, the National Park Service says there are 10 essentials you should take:

  • Navigation: Pack a map, compass and a GPS system. Make sure you study your route beforehand and understand how to use the tools.

  • Sun protection: Sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat can help protect your skin and eyes from UV rays.

  • Insulation: A jacket, hat, gloves, raincoat and thermal underwear can help you be prepared for rapidly changing weather conditions.

  • Illumination: A flashlight, lantern and headlamp can create light if you get stuck in the dark — and don’t forget to pack extra batteries.

  • First-aid supplies: It’s a good idea to have a first-aid kit on hand while hiking. Check the expiration date on items before you pack them.

  • Fire: Matches and a lighter can help start fire to act as an emergency signal in times of need.

  • Repair kit and tools: Duct tape, a knife, screwdriver and scissors can be helpful if items break during your hike or you need assistance.

  • Nutrition: You should pack an extra day’s worth of food in case something goes wrong. Park officials recommend having “salty and easy to digest snacks.”

  • Hydration: You should drink water often and before you feel thirsty if you’re hiking in hot weather. Keeping your body hydrated is “of utmost importance,” park officials said.

  • Emergency shelter: Packing a tent, space blanket, tarp and bivy can help you be prepared if severe weather breaks out or your plan takes a turn.

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