Lieutenant William Boudreau
September 30, 2020
Jaffrey, NH – NH Fish and Game Department Conservation Officers received a 911 call around 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 29. Yogesh Shridhare, 54, of Arlington, MA, was reporting that he was off trail, lost, and cold. The 911 Bureau of Emergency Communications was able to provide GPS coordinates for Shridhare’s location. Shridhare was over 1000’ in the woods north of the Pumpelly Trail. A Conservation Officer attempted to give Shridhare directions back to the trail over the phone but Shridhare did not know how to work the compass on his cellular phone and was unable to get himself back to the trail. Conservation Officers arrived at Monadnock State Park Headquarters at 5:45 p.m. and met with Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Mountain Patrol Rangers.
Two Fish and Game Conservation Officers located Shridhare at 7:55 p.m. Shridhare was not properly dressed for the conditions and was in the early stages of hypothermia. He was wearing shorts and a light-weight long-sleeved shirt and was soaking wet. Conservation Officers provided him with warm clothes, water, and a headlamp. Getting Shridhare out of the woods and back to the trail proved difficult due to rain, wind, and fog. The visibility was less than 10’ and drastically slowed their progress.
Shridhare and Conservation Officers reached the Park Headquarters at 11:00 p.m. where Shridhare was given a ride back to his vehicle at the Birchtoft Trail Head.
Shridhare began his hike around 1:00 p.m. and reached the summit at 3:00 p.m. After summiting, Shridhare lost the trail due to the low-visibility weather conditions. This incident could have had a much different outcome had Shridhare not been able to make a call from his cellular phone. That particular area of Mount Monadnock is known for spotty cellular phone coverage.
This incident is a good reminder to all people recreating in the outdoors to prepare for the unexpected, hike with a partner or group, and carry the necessary equipment. Never rely on a cellular phone for rescue. Please visit www.hikesafe.com for a list of recommended hiking equipment.