CO Jonathan Demler
Region Two Office, New Hampton, NH
April 24, 2019
Lincoln, NH: In the evening of April 23, 2019, a group of hikers called 9-1-1 while hiking the Falling Waters Trail in Lincoln, NH. Nelson Duchastel de Montrouse 23, Brynjr Chapman 23, Samuel Schioler 20, Ayesha Wright 24, and Francis Ngabirano 22, all of Quebec, Canada, had hiked the afternoon, traveling opposite the recommended route by first ascending the Old Bridal Path and finishing by descending the Falling Waters Trail. The call was made because the hikers were unprepared for the conditions they faced. One member of the group did not have hiking boots and none were equipped to handle the deep snow, ice, or darkness.
Luckily a Good Samaritan hiker who was prepared for the conditions came across the party and provided assistance, giving out lights and other pieces of equipment that he could spare. Conservation Officers with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department were notified and spoke with the hiking party by telephone. It was unclear if the entire group would be able to make it to the trailhead without assistance and Conservation Officers responded to the trail.
All hikers made it to I-93 slightly south of the trails parking area just before 10:00 pm. The hikers were wet, cold and tired but had suffered no serious injuries. Conservation Officers relayed them back to their vehicles where they were finally able to change wet clothing and warm up.
The hikers were not prepared for the winter conditions that still exist in the White Mountains. They did not have adequate footwear, cold weather gear, or lights. Conservation Officers want to remind people planning to enjoy New Hampshire’s White Mountains that trails are packed with feet of snow and ice which requires winter equipment. Many water crossings are at extremely high levels and are dangerous to cross. Weather may appear warm and comfortable at lower elevations during daytime but temperatures will be seriously colder as you gain elevation or as the sun sets.