Sgt. Heidi Murphy
July 19, 2022
Franconia, NH – On Monday, July 18, 2022 at approximately 7:47 p.m., the NH Fish and Game Department was notified of four hikers that called for assistance on the Garfield Ridge Trail in Franconia. Frank Tinelli, 18, of Suffern, NY, Charles Poulous, 18, of Pomona, NY, and two other minors had intended to hike up the Falling Waters Trail to Mt. Lafayette and down the Greenleaf Trail. They missed the intersection of Greenleaf and headed across the Garfield Ridge Trail instead. The group was almost to Garfield Pond when they called for assistance. They were wet from the rain and out of food with limited water and limited gear.
Due to the weather, lack of sufficient gear, and age and conditions of the hikers, it was decided the best course of action was to ask for assistance from the AMC. The Garfield tent site caretaker and members of the hut crew from Galehead Hut were able to meet up with the hikers at approximately 10:45 p.m. A Conservation Officer also responded and hiked toward the group. Once the hikers reached the tent site, they were able to rest, get some food and water, and warm themselves to prepare for the hike down. The Conservation Officer brought them safely to the trailhead arriving at approximately 4:00 a.m. on July 19, 2022.
This serves as a good reminder that preparedness does not just mean having what you need to complete your hike. It means that you have items that can keep you warm, dry, and hydrated for a longer period of time if necessary. It means that you have a good idea of the terrain, how long the mileage is, and where you are going. It means studying the terrain to decide where you could have an area of confusion. It means looking at the forecasted weather to decide whether or not to continue with your plans or bring extra gear to deal with that weather. For more information on hiking safety check out the HikeSafe website at www.hikesafe.com.