Lieutenant Mark Ober
July 10, 2023
Shelburne, NH – On Saturday, July 8, 2023 at approximately 1:10 p.m., NH Fish and Game Conservation Officers were notified of a hiker who was suffering from a potentially serious medical condition on the Carter-Moriah Trail near the summit of Mt. Moriah. Due to the nature of the symptoms, and being 5 miles from the nearest road, a request was made to the NH Army National Guard for a helicopter extraction of the hiker.
A Blackhawk flew up from Concord, but due to the storm cells and thunder heads that formed over the mountain just prior to the helicopter’s arrival, the team was unable to safely extract the patient. The Blackhawk landed at the Berlin airport and waited an additional 2 hours in the event the storms passed. But in that time the cloud cover and storms persisted so the helicopter was forced to return.
When the call for the Blackhawk was made, an additional call for volunteer rescuers was made to Androscoggin Valley Search & Rescue (AVSAR) as a backup in the event the helicopter was unable to extract the hiker. Several AVSAR volunteers responded and hiked in the nearly 5 miles with a rescue litter.
The hiker, identified as Stephen Fredericks, 49, of Chelmsford, MA, was placed into the litter and carried out by the AVSAR volunteers, Conservation Officers, and his eight hiking companions. The rescue crew arrived at the trailhead on Sunday, July 9 at 12:35 a.m. Fredericks was transported to Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin by the Gorham Ambulance.
Fredericks is an experienced hiker and had planned to hike the Carter Range from north to south with his hiking companions. He possessed all the appropriate gear as well as additional gear as he was planning an overnight hiking trip.