WARREN — A Dartmouth College student who got lost Saturday night while hiking Mount Moosilauke was found Monday morning, without shoes, but seemingly uninjured, on the same trail he began his odyssey and within a mile of his ultimate destination.
New Hampshire Fish and Game officials said Arun Anand, 21 of Collegeville, Pa., was on a Dartmouth College-sponsored hike when he failed to show up at the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge.
On Monday, a search team made up of conservation officers and volunteers encountered Anand about 9:30 a.m. in an area north of the lodge as he was coming down the Gorge Brook Trail, said New Hampshire Fish and Game Lt. Mark Ober.
Anand, said Ober, was “mobile, upright, walking and talking” although he may have suffered some exposure on parts of Mount Moosilauke with winter-like conditions.
“We were optimistic” in finding Anand, said Ober, “but we weren’t expecting him to be on the trail.”
According to a statement from New Hampshire Fish and Game, it appears that Anand lost the trail and then likely lost his footwear while negotiating deep snow.
In an email Monday to the Dartmouth College community, Joseph J. Helble, provost, and Kathryn Lively, interim dean of the college, said everyone was “relieved and grateful to share the news that Arun Hari Anand ‘19 has been found alive and safe. Aside from the effects of two nights in the wilderness, he does not appear to be seriously injured and is walking up to the Ravine Lodge with assistance.”
Helble and Liveley extended their “deepest thanks to the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and the trained search volunteers who worked” to find Anand.
At its peak on Sunday, what Ober described as a “grueling” search for Anand used both the DHART helicopter and an Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopter. There also were some 50 people on the ground, including a dozen conservation officers and volunteers from the Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue; New England K-9 Search & Rescue; Upper Valley Wilderness Response Team; and the newly-formed Lakes Region Search and Rescue.
Searchers battled steep terrain and “thick underbrush,” said Ober, as well as “snow past their knees.” The search area was problematic, he said, in that there was little to no cell-phone service there.
The snowline on Mount Moosilauke, which has an elevation of 4,802 feet and is the 10th highest of the 4,000-footers in the White Mountains, is “not very far” from trails, said Ober, adding that melting snow is creating watercourses hikers also must traverse.
Ober said searchers were “ecstatic” when they heard radio reports Anand had been found alive and well. He praised and thanked the many volunteers for their “herculean effort.”
“Rescuers provided Anand with food, water, warm clothing and a pair of hiking boots. After an initial assessment, he was hiked out the 1 mile to the lodge,” according to Fish and Game. Anand was met at the lodge by his grateful family and rescuers, they said.
Anand was assessed by EMS personnel from Linwood Ambulance and then transported to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center for precautionary reasons, according to Fish and Game.