Three hikers from Rhode Island were rescued on a mountain in New Hampshire last weekend after getting caught in wintry weather.
The winterlike conditions prompted multiple calls for rescues on New Hampshire Mountains this weekend. A Massachusetts man died after rescuers found him "severely hypothermic" on a trail near Mount Clay.
The three Rhode Islanders, in their early 20s, were trying to climb 3,442-foot Mount Avalon in the White Mountain National Forest when they got into trouble late Saturday.
New Hampshire Fish and Game conservation officers said they responded to a call for help at about 9 p.m. after the hikers went off the trail near the Avalon and Mount Willard Trails in Crawford Notch.
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Malik Gavek, 23, Dany Gomez, 22, and Jarren Prata, 21, began hiking at about 6 p.m. but turned back due before reaching the summit of Mount Avalon because of "cold windy conditions and low visibility," New Hampshire Fish and Game said in a press release.
"On the return down the Mt. Avalon Trail, they went off trail and became lost," New Hampshire Fish and Game said. "They were unable to re-locate the trail or self-rescue due to the weather conditions and they had no lights or headlamps. They then called 911 for assistance."
Conservation officers were able to navigate by GPS to the coordinate received by 911 dispatch, the department said. Conservation officers gave the hikers headlamps and helped them back to the trailhead parking area and their vehicle at 12:40 a.m.
"They were wet, cold, and tired but otherwise unharmed," New Hampshire Fish and Wildlife said.
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On Saturday, the National Weather Service advised hikers to prepare for "winter weather conditions" if going above 4,000 feet in the White Mountains.
"Wind chill values could approach 0°F along with icy and snowy conditions on the highest peaks, including Mt Washington," the Weather Service wrote in a Tweet.
Tweets from the Mount Washington Observatory showed snow at the 6,288 peak last weekend.
New Hampshire Fish and Game says hikers should always check the forecast and pack the following 10 "essential items" before going into the wilderness: map, compass, warm clothing, extra food and water, headlamp, fire starter, first aid kit, whistle, rain/wind jackets and pants, and a knife.
The agency says additional safety information is available at this hiking website.
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