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January 12. 2013 7:08PM

Six Tufts students rescued after getting lost in White Mtn. National Forest

HART'S LOCATION -- Six students from Tufts University Mountain Club were rescued early Saturday morning after they took the wrong trail down Mt. Pierce and wound up lost in the Dry River Wilderness area.

Rescuers from the state Fish and Game Department responded to a 911 call around 6 p.m. Friday from the lost hikers. Conservation officers were able to locate the six students using GPS coordinates provided by 911 dispatchers, and they hiked through the night to find them, according to a Fish and Game press release.

The students had climbed the mountain earlier in the day and intended to return to the AMC Highland Center in Carroll. But they mistakenly took a trail that was closed due to heavy damage from Hurricane Irene, according to the press release.

The six hikers were identified as: Glen Zinck, 19, of Bothell, Wash.; Emily Melick, 19, of Greenwich, Conn.; Sam Boatner, 20, of Boise, Idaho; Sophia Goodfriend, 20, of Seattle, Wash.; Kirk Jackson, 19, of San Francisco, Calif.; and Andrew Miller, 19, of Lancaster, Pa.

The rescuers had to navigate around washed-out sections of the trail on snowshoes in four feet of snowpack, the press release said.

The six hikers were found unharmed around 2:30 a.m. and the group made it out to the trailhead on Route 302 around 5 a.m.

Fish and Game reminded hikers that hikes often take longer than anticipated and weather in the White Mountain National Forest is unpredictable. For a list of recommended winter hiking equipment, visit www.hikesafe.com.


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