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New Jersey woman rescued while hiking in White Mountains

A trail marker leads the way in the White Mountains.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

A 26-year-old New Jersey woman who lacked the proper equipment for spending the night outdoors had to be rescued by New Hampshire Fish and Game conservation officers while hiking in the White Mountains on Sunday, officials said.

Aleeza Shaikh, 26, of Jersey City, N.J., was hiking on the Liberty Springs Trail in Lincoln, N.H., on Feb. 20, New Hampshire Fish and Game said in a statement. Shaikh had only prepared for a day hike and a companion called 911 for help at 4:30 p.m. as the group was unable to continue descending the trail.

A conservation officer met Shaikh on the trail at 5:56 p.m. Sunday about 1 mile from the trailhead, and helped her continue down the mountain to the Liberty Springs parking lot, the statement said. Shaikh had been helped down the mountain by a group of hikers who found her lying in the trail.


A small rescue party was able to help Shaikh hike down the rest of the trail with only minor assistance, the statement said. She reached the parking lot by 7 p.m.

New Hampshire Fish and Game officials are recommending Shaikh be billed for the rescue, which the statement describes as “preventable” due to Shaikh’s “inaccurate planning and equipment.”

“Hiking in the White Mountains can be extremely challenging and quickly become dangerous, even deadly, especially in winter conditions,” the statement said.

“Conservation Officers would like to remind everyone to plan for a safe hike and allow plenty of time. Always bring dedicated lights, even on a day hike.”

Charlie McKenna can be reached at charlie.mckenna@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @charliemckenna9.