CO Christopher McKee
July 14, 2021

Bethlehem, NH – On Tuesday, July 13, at 4:00 p.m., the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department was notified of an injured hiker on Middle Sugarloaf Mountain in Bethlehem. A 69-year-old male had suffered a leg injury as he was reaching the summit. It was determined that his injury would require a carry out. At 5:24 p.m. the first rescuers had reached the injured hiker. The rescue team was comprised of Conservation Officers and volunteers from the Pemi Valley Search and Rescue Team. The injured hiker was placed into a litter and carried 1.3 miles to the trailhead on Zealand Road where they arrived at 6:55 p.m. The injured hiker was then taken from the trailhead by a family member for further treatment and evaluation of his injury.

The 69-year-old hiker was identified as Charlie Valeska of Rochester, NY. Valeska explained that as he was summiting he felt his knee pop and was unable to bear weight on it. He was properly equipped for the short day hike and had hiked in the White Mountains on other occasions without incident.

For safe hiking tips and a list of essential gear, visit Outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to purchase a Hike Safe card at The card helps support Fish and Game search and rescue activities.