Lieutenant James Kneeland
May 9, 2019
FRANCONIA, NH – At 8:40 PM on May 8, 2019 Conservation Officers with the NH Fish and Game Department were advised of a hiker needing assistance on Little Haystack Mountain in Franconia. Coordinates provided by NH 911 placed the hiker off trail in the headwaters of Dry Brook. The hiker reported that he had lost the Falling Waters Trail as he descended from Little Haystack Mountain. He eventually came upon Dry Brook and hiked up so that he could get cell service. In the process he became wet and lost his hiking boots. With temperatures expected in the low 30s, a team of two Conservation Officers was dispatched to the area to locate the hiker.
The team of Conservation Officers reached the hiker at 1 AM and was able to provide dry clothing, footwear, food, a light, and motivation. Rescuers were hampered by thick vegetation and deep snow. Shortly before 2 AM, the group started out towards the trailhead where they all arrived at 4:10 AM. The hiker declined medical attention.
The hiker was identified as 22-year-old Jevin Marquinez of Jacksonville, FL. Mr. Marquinez was ill prepared for the hike he undertook in that he had not adequately researched the hike he had intended on. He did not know he would encounter snow and ice on his hike. He also wore primarily cotton clothing, which is one of the worst fabrics to wear in cold wet conditions. Mr. Marquinez carried only two of the ten essentials as recommended by the HikeSafe program, a knife and a whistle. He lacked a map, compass, warm clothing, extra food and water, a light source, matches, first aid kit, and rain gear.
As a reminder, deep snow persists throughout the White Mountains. Microspikes are still a necessity as the trails packed over the winter are last to thaw causing icy traveling. Outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to purchase a Hike Safe card at wildnh.com/safe. The card helps support Fish and Game search and rescue activities. For safe hiking tips and a list of essential gear, visit hikesafe.com.