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The Union Leader
updated 1:17 a.m. ET, Wed., Oct. 8, 2008
LINCOLN - More than two dozen people spent much of the night yesterday carrying an injured hiker off a remote mountain peak in the Pemigewasset Wilderness.

Dorothy Blanchard, 69, of Newcastle, Maine, injured her knee late Monday afternoon while bushwhacking her way to the 3,684-foot trail-less summit of Mount Huntington.

Blanchard is an accomplished hiker, said Fish and Game Lt. Todd Bogardus. She had made the summit of the 100 highest peaks in New England, he said, and was working on bagging the top 100 peaks in New Hampshire when she began heading down Mount Huntington.

"Upon her descent she became injured and her hiking companion hiked over two hours out to the trailhead to get assistance," he said.

Members of Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue were called out around 7 p.m. and had the task of first trying to find her, since she had been bushwhacking.

"Her exact location was not known, but her companion did have good woods knowledge and utilized map and compass, which put us in the right area," Bogardus said.

The first team of rescuers found her off the Hancock Notch trail and were able to carry her out by litter to the Kancamagus Highway, reaching the road about 3 a.m.

Blanchard was well prepared for the day hike she had planned, Bogardus said. She was taken for treatment to Speare Hospital in Plymouth.

Two hikers who needed help to get back to a trailhead Saturday night were not so prepared, Bogardus said.

Searchers were called out Saturday night to look for Nan Yang, 30, of Boxborough, Mass., and Christine Hou, 35, of Arlington, Mass., after they ran out of light while coming down Flume Slide trail in Franconia Notch.

They had been hiking with five other companions, but decided to go ahead of the rest of the group to reach the trailhead first, according to Bogardus.

When darkness fell, they were without flashlights or other gear and lost the trail. They used a cell phone to call 911 for assistance, he said.

Two volunteers from Pemi Valley Search and Rescue hiked up the Liberty Springs trail and found the two women. While other searchers were preparing to look for the pair, their five companions, who were prepared with lights and gear, came out on the trailhead.

"These two hikers failed to stay together with their group and also failed to carry appropriate gear, such as a simple flashlight," Bogardus said, warning those heading into the woods or onto the trails this time of year to be aware that the daylight is growing shorter, the trails are littered with leaves to make following the trails a harder and treacherous, as well as winter conditions being experienced at the higher elevations

SO DONT forget the basic gear when you head out for a hike, or even a walk. Always be sure that in the event of a accident, you can survive til help arrives.


Premium Member
5,483 Posts
If you do happen to get lost or run out of daylight, having the correct equipment/supplies, can mean the difference between a real long night or a nice cozy one.
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