CONTACT:
Lt. Todd Bogardus: 603-271-3127
January 16, 2010   

Maine Hiker Spends Unexpected Night on Mt. Moosilauke

CONCORD, N.H. -- Richard Barrie (64 years old) of Kittery Point, Maine spent Friday night (January 15, 2010) stuck out on Mt. Moosilauke in Benton, NH, in frigid temperatures and high winds.  Barrie had planned a day hike to the exposed summit of Mt. Moosilauke and, when he failed to make it safely home at night, friends notified NH Fish and Game.  Barrie had gotten caught in whiteout conditions with increasing winds early in the afternoon while trying to descend from the summit.  After hours of being unable to find his way down a trail off of the summit, he sought shelter by erecting a snow cave and getting himself into his additional gear to wait out the weather. 

Friends and Fish and Game searched for Barrie during the evening.  While additional search teams made up of NH Fish and Game Conservation Officers and the Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue Team were beginning search assignments in Saturday morning's daylight, Barrie made his own way off of the mountain unharmed.  Barrie stated that with the morning daylight the visibility vastly improved and he was able to leave his shelter, find the trail and make his descent back down the Glencliff Trail. 

Lt. Todd Bogardus of NH Fish and Game stated that Barrie was fortunate in that he was a knowledgeable and prepared hiker who was very familiar with the mountain.  He had appropriate skills and gear, which enabled him to successfully endure the unexpected night out.  Barrie got caught by the whiteout conditions, but followed the hikeSafe principles and was knowledgeable, prepared with additional gear, had left an itinerary with friends and was able to get out on his own. 

The incident is an important reminder that weather patterns and conditions in the mountains can change at a moment's notice without warning, so people need to plan for that, Bogardus said.   

For further information on being safe while hiking or pursuing outdoor recreation and to learn the hiker responsibility code please visit www.hikesafe.com

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