New Hampshire: James Clark, 80, of Ohio had to be carried about 1.7 miles down Lion Head Trail after being left behind by family he was hiking with, who didn’t realize he was in trouble until after they’d summited and descended a different trail to Pinkham Notch Visitors Center, according to Fish and Game.
Arriving about 7:45 p.m., they reported Clark was overdue, not prepared with overnight gear and did not have a cell phone or light.
Fish and Game conservation officers responded and requested assistance from the Appalachian Mountain Club in the rescue.
AMC staff at Hermit Lake Shelters started up Lion Head Trail to locate Clark as conservation officers responded, driving up the Auto Road and then hiking down Tuckerman Ravine and Lion Head trails.
AMC rescuers located Clark on Lion Head Trail just above the Alpine Garden Trail junction. He was in a fetal position, not moving and exhibiting signs and symptoms of hypothermia and unable to speak any discernible words, Fish and Game said.
An AMC staff member and the two conservation officers who responded stripped Clark and bundled him up in dry clothes and put him in a sleeping bag to warm him, Fish and Game said.
They’d summited and then descended before noticing that Gramp’s was missing? Did they perhaps look around themselves, even if just to admire the view, when they reached the top? Or wonder why the old geezer had gone silent on the hike back down?
UPDATE: New Hampshire authorities are considering charging the two hikers who left Granpa behind the full cost of his rescue, and are consulting with the District Attorney about hitting them with reckless endangerment. None of which will happen, probably, but it should.