Sergeant Heidi Murphy
May 20, 2021
Lincoln, NH – On Wednesday, May 19, 2021, NH Fish and Game Conservation Officers responded to three different rescue requests all occurring in Lincoln, NH. The first incident involved a hiker who was separated and missing from his hiking partners. Cal Zeizler, 20, of Indiana had been hiking with a brother and three cousins starting on the morning of May 17, 2021. This was the group’s first trip to the White Mountains and they planned to hike the ambitious Pemigewasset Loop. This loop starts and ends at the Lincoln Woods trailhead and traverses approximately 31 miles and summits 8 of the 4,000 footers. On the night of May 18 around 9:00 p.m., Zeizler had become exhausted as the group had not made it to the intended tent site. When his companions had arrived at a site near Garfield Pond, they turned around and hiked back to Zeizler’s location. They took his backpack to try and assist him to their tent site. The companions arrived at the tent site but Zeizler had not. The group called NH Fish and Game the next morning around 10:30 a.m. to report him missing. Conservation Officers were sent to look for Zeizler along the Pemigewasset Loop. An AMC hut construction crew also assisted in the search. At 7:30 p.m., NH Fish and Game was notified by a hiker that she had located Zeizler approximately 0.1 miles from the Garfield Ridge Tent site. He was uninjured and able to hike.
At approximately 12:40 p.m., another call for assistance was made regarding a 50-year-old female who was unable continue her hike. Erin Demoss of Michigan was hiking in the Flume Gorge Trail in Franconia Notch State Park when she suffered from difficulty breathing and cramping. NH Fish and Game were able to notify the park staff of her approximate location. They were able to assist Demoss off the trail back to her vehicle. The Lincoln Fire Department also assisted in this rescue.
At approximately 5:00 p.m., NH Fish and Game was notified of a 73-year-old female who was suffering from a medical issue along the Falling Waters Trail in Lincoln. Elaine Hedstrom of New Jersey, was located approximately 1.5 miles from the Falling Waters Trailhead. Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue volunteers as well as NH Fish and Game Conservation Officers were able to carry Hedstrom back to the trailhead arriving at approximately 8:20 p.m. Linwood Ambulance Service assisted with medical evaluation.
With the warmer weather it is important to bring water and hydrating drinks on your trip. Pay attention to how much you are drinking and actively take sips even if you don’t think you are thirsty. Additionally, follow the Hiker’s Code so that you and your hiking partners safely enjoy your outdoor adventures.
You are responsible for:
- Knowledge and gear. Become self-reliant by learning about the terrain, conditions, local weather, and your equipment before you start.
- Leaving your plans. Tell someone where you are going, the trails you are hiking, when you’ll return and your emergency plans.
- Staying together. When you start as a group, hike as a group, end as a group. Pace your hike to the slowest person.
- Knowing when to turn back. Weather changes quickly in the mountains. Fatigue and unexpected conditions can also affect your hike. Know your limitations and when to postpone your hike. The mountains will be there another day.
- Handling emergencies. Even if you are headed out for just an hour, an injury, severe weather or a wrong turn could become life threatening. Don’t assume you will be rescued; know how to rescue yourself.
- For sharing the hiker code with others.
To learn more, please visit https://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/outdoor-recreation/hiking-safety.html.