Sgt. Alex Lopashanski
April 17, 2023
Albany, NH – On Friday, April 14 shortly before 7:30 p.m., New Hampshire Fish and Game was notified that a pair of hikers had phoned 911 for assistance. A coordinate from their phone placed them over three miles from the trailhead and nearly 650 off trail in the area of the Bee Line Trail on Mt. Chocorua.
The hikers were Pauline Sanchez, 36, of San Jose, CA, and Sheena Santos, 34, of Radford, VA. They had good cell phone service in the area, and after speaking with them it was learned that they had attempted to descend the Bee Line Trail but had gotten off trail, and Sanchez had lost a shoe along the way in deep snow which she was unable to recover.
A Conservation Officer and two members of Lakes Region Search and responded. Rescuers located the hikers, provided them with warm clothes, headlamps, and a pair of shoes, and hiked out with them. They arrived back at the trailhead shortly before 2:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 15.
We have found ourselves in a period of remarkably nice spring weather, but hikers should keep in mind that deep soft snow will persist in the mountains for some time. In addition to snow conditions at elevation, the current snow melting cycle is making trails extremely wet and full of running water. Stream water levels are high, fast moving, and many require wading to cross.
Lakes Region Search and Rescue is a volunteer search and rescue organization whose members work hard to maintain the skills and equipment necessary to carry out rescues across the state. Anyone can donate to LRSAR through the New Hampshire Outdoor Council at www.nhoutdoorcouncil.org. Donations are fully tax deductible. Outdoor enthusiasts are also encouraged to purchase a Hike Safe card at www.wildnh.com/safe. The card helps support Fish and Game search and rescue activities. For safe hiking tips and a list of essential gear, visit hikesafe.com.