Lieutenant Mark Ober
November 12, 2020
Randolph, NH – At 4:50 p.m. NH Fish and Game Conservation Officers were notified of a lost hiker off of the Ice Gulch Trail. The call came in via 911 and the GPS Coordinates placed the hiker in the Ice Gulch along the Moose River. Efforts to contact the hiker to talk them back onto the trail failed because the cell phone service was spotty and the hiker’s cell phone battery was exhausted.
With no other information to go on, Conservation Officers responded to the trailhead and started hiking in at approximately 6:30 p.m.
At 8:00 p.m., a Conservation Officer made contact with the hiker. The hiker, identified as Heidi Johnson, 38, of Marlborough, MA, was still on the trail but due to the snow and ice conditions and the steepness of the trail, was unable to safely continue. The Conservation Officer was able to assist Johnson back down from the steep, slippery section of the trail then guide Johnson back down the trail to a staging area where a Fish & Game canine and additional officer were waiting.
Once clear of Ice Gulch, Johnson and the Conservation Officers were able to easily hike down the rest of the trail arriving at awaiting vehicles at approximately 10:45 p.m.
Although recent temperatures have been mild, conditions in the higher elevations and sheltered ravines, such as Ice Gulch, continue to hold ice and snow. Hikers are reminded to plan for winter conditions by having the proper equipment and training to be able to safely complete their hike while taking into consideration weather and summit conditions. Hikers should know their limits and be prepared to turn back if conditions are not ideal
Outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to purchase a Hike Safe card at www.wildnh.com/safe. The card helps support Fish and Game search and rescue activities. For more information on safe hiking tips and a list of essential gear please visit www.hikesafe.com.