SARGENT’S PURCHASE -- Two lost Granite State hikers who had to camp out for the night near Mount Isolation in Pinkham Notch were found safe Sunday afternoon, officials said.
Kyle Wallace, 26, of Newbury and Kenneth Barker, 27, of Contoocook, began their hike Saturday morning but became disoriented and lost the trail due to heavy snow and bad weather, according to a Fish and Game news release.
Pinned down by high winds on the Mount Isolation trail, the two called 911 about 9 p.m., and after determining they had proper equipment, Fish and Game officials told them to shelter in place until morning, the release said.
Conservation Officers and volunteers began their rescue operation Sunday morning, but spent most of the day trying to reach the search area due to difficult conditions, arriving there about 3 p.m., officials said.
Rescuers had no luck during the first hour searching areas they thought the pair would be. About 4:15 p.m. they were told Wallace and Barker had called 911 again and told rescuers they had made their way through the woods to a network of cross-country ski trails, the release said. Using a mapping program, a new location was identified for the hikers and they were given directions on how to navigate the trail system to the road.
Wallace and Barker used the directions to arrive at the Rocky Branch trailhead in Jackson about 4:40 p.m., officials said, where they were met by family and rescue personnel. They were tired and hungry but were not hurt and in good spirits, the release said.
Fish and Game officials remind hikers that snow -- mealy, difficult to hike in and up to six feet deep -- still exists in the woods between 2,500 and 4,500 feet of elevation.