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Severely hypothermic hiker dies near Mt Washington after being rescued in ‘treacherous’ conditions – Boston News, Weather, Sports

(CNN) — A hiker rescued from “treacherous” conditions on a trail near Mt. Washington in New Hampshire’s Presidential Mountain Range has died after suffering an illness severe hypothermiastate officials said Monday.

Xi Chen, 53, of Andover, Massachusetts, was trying to hike the Gulfside Trail in the Presidential Range when he was “overwhelmed by severe weather,” according to a New Hampshire Fish and Game (NHFG). press release.

The hiker’s wife called the agency around 6:30 p.m. Saturday after Chen texted her saying he was “cold and wet and couldn’t go on” and that he “felt dying without rescue,” according to another news release issued Sunday.

NHFG officials had already received multiple calls that day from cold and wet hikers requesting rescue, most of whom were traversing high elevations in the Presidential Range, the release said. Due to the “horrific nature” of the call about Chen, emergency responders responded immediately and called in additional resources, including officials from across the state and mountain rescue workers.

“Conditions on the high peaks were treacherous: temperatures below freezing, rain, sleet, snow and wind gusts in excess of 130 km/h. Only those with experience, training and proper equipment were used for this rescue,” the release said. In total, nine mountain rescue workers and six conservation officers responded to an attempt to rescue Chen, according to the NHFG.

Two rescue teams were dropped near the summit around 9:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. and hiked around the site through “driving rain, blowing snow and sustained winds of 50 to 60 miles per hour with gusts in excess of 80 miles per hour.” to reach where Chen was believed to be in, the publication said. Due to the ice forming on the road, chains were placed on the tires of parked trucks to drive rescuers to the summit.

At around 10:38 p.m., the first rescue team found Chen, who was “unresponsive and in a severely hypothermic state,” the press release said. Rescuers immediately set up shelter over him and tried to warm him up, sources said.

After spotting signs of life, rescuers carried him over a mile to the top of Mt. Washington, according to the press release.

At the summit, Chen was placed in a truck and driven to a waiting ambulance, which took him to Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin, about 24 miles northeast of the Mt. Washington summit, NHFG said.

Life-saving efforts were made on Chen for several hours, but he could not be resuscitated and was pronounced dead, NHFG said.

Many of the hikers who called for rescue on Saturday were unprepared for Saturday’s forecast weather conditions, according to the NHFG.

“The predicted weather conditions, particularly for the higher peaks, were ignored by many hikers,” the agency said in its press release. “Some were unprepared for the dangerous conditions above tree line, and rather than turning around or exiting to safer heights, they continued and eventually called 911 in anticipation of a rescue.”

When NHFG received the 911 call about Chen, officers were already carrying an injured hiker off the Centennial Trail in Shelburne, the agency said.

“Sometimes just having enough gear isn’t enough,” advised NHFG. “With the weather conditions this weekend, it’s better to dismount and escape the wind and cold than to keep going until it’s too late.”

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https://whdh.com/news/severely-hypothermic-hiker-dies-after-rescue-in-treacherous-conditions-near-mt-washington/ Severely hypothermic hiker dies near Mt Washington after being rescued in ‘treacherous’ conditions – Boston News, Weather, Sports

Nate Jones

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