The Bulletin Board

After frozen feet 911 call, Fish and Game warns about winter conditions in White Mountains

By: - November 14, 2023 1:23 pm
A hiker hikes up a snowy trail in January in New Hampshire.

A wintery hike up the North Moat Mountain in January 2021. (Ethan DeWitt | NH Bulletin)

After a hiker on Mount Carrigain called 911 over the weekend reporting his feet were frozen, the state’s Fish and Game Department is warning that winter conditions are already very much present in the White Mountains.

The 22-year-old hiker from Newport phoned for help on Saturday, Nov. 11 around 11:30 a.m., saying he’d been separated from his friend and could not continue on. Due to poor cell service in the area, his 911 call dropped and further attempts to contact him failed.

The man’s hiking partner ultimately returned to him and was able to get him moving. Rather than hiking the shortest route back to the trailhead over Mount Carrigain, Fish and Game said, they hiked an 8-mile loop in the opposite direction, which kept them separated from rescuers who were hiking in to assist. They arrived at the trailhead shortly after 5:30 p.m.

Fish and Game cautions that snow and ice will persist in the White Mountains for the rest of the season, and that conditions at trailheads will not be an accurate predictor of conditions found at higher elevation. On Tuesday morning along the Mount Washington Auto Road, for example, the temperature was 28.8 degrees at 2,300 feet of elevation and  20.2 degrees at 5,300 feet. The summit, at 6,288 feet, had a windchill of minus 5 degrees. 

For winter hiking safety tips


Forest Service snow rangers post avalanche warnings for Tuckerman and Huntington Ravines, which can be found online

Recommended clothing and equipment for winter hiking include: an insulated parka, extra mitten, balaclava, insulated boots, overmitts, snow shoes, crampons, face mask, ice ax, and goggles. 

Fish and Game also encourages outdoor enthusiasts to purchase a Hike Safe card at People who obtain the cards are not liable to repay associated costs if they need to be rescued.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Hadley Barndollar
Hadley Barndollar

Hadley Barndollar covers climate, energy, environment, and the opioid crisis for the New Hampshire Bulletin. Previously, she was the New England regional reporter for the USA TODAY Network and was named Reporter of the Year by the New England Newspaper and Press Association. Email: [email protected]