CONTACT:
Col. Martin Garabedian: 603-271-3128
Lt. Todd Bogardus: 603-271-3361
Jane Vachon: 603-271-3211
February 18, 2009

Massachusetts Hiker Family Rescued on Mt. Cardigan in N.H.

CONCORD, N.H. -- Very early this morning, New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Conservation Officers successfully located a 43-year-old woman and her two children who were lost on Mt. Cardigan in Alexandria, N.H.  Olga Box of Groton, Massachusetts, and her two children Olivia (age 13) and Zachary (age 11) became confused and lost on the trail systems on Mt. Cardigan early Tuesday evening (February 17, 2009). 

The three had been hiking with a family group of five, planning to hike the 2 miles from the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC)'s Mt. Cardigan Lodge to the AMC's High Cabin, where they had planned to spend the night.  Shortly after 5:00 p.m., the three separated from the others in their group and went ahead to reach the cabin.  They took a wrong turn at an intersection and then became disoriented and confused.  They eventually took shelter in an abandoned camper they found and holed up for the night.  When the rest of the family could not find them on the mountain, Fish and Game was contacted shortly after 10:00 p.m.

A search crew of ten people made up of Fish and Game Conservation Officers, Upper Valley Wilderness Search and Rescue, and Appalachian Mountain Club personnel searched the mountain trails.  At 1:45 a.m. with clear skies and temperatures in the teens, a search team consisting of Conservation Officers Bradley Morse and Jeremy Hawkes located the three, safe and uninjured, in an abandoned camper alongside the Woodland Trail, approximately 1.5 miles off their planned course.  They then hiked the group back out to be reunited with the rest of their family, who had left High Cabin and returned to the trailhead at Mt. Cardigan Lodge.    
    
Lt. Todd Bogardus of N.H. Fish and Game stated that, although the group did have sleeping bags, maps and other winter hiking overnight gear, "this incident should remind hikers of the importance of following the hikeSafe principle of staying together: 'When hiking as a group, stay as a group.'  Had they done so, this incident could have been avoided."

Visit www.hikesafe.com for more information on safe hiking principles and guidelines.

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