A married couple hiking in the White Mountains had to be rescued Saturday after they encountered cold and rainy conditions that they weren’t prepared for, officials said.
Bryan Morse, 29, and his wife, Samantha Nigro, 26, of Franklin, N.H., had started hiking up the Falling Waters Trail at 1 p.m. and by 7:30 p.m. had made it to the summit of Little Haystack. They decided to continue on to the Liberty Springs tent site two miles across Franconia Ridge, New Hampshire Fish and Game Department officials said in a statement.
It had been raining off and on all day and the couple was approximately a quarter mile past the summit of Little Haystack when they began to succumb to the cold and wet conditions, officials said.
Around 9:30 p.m., the couple decided they couldn’t continue and called 911 for help, officials said.
Conservation officers and members of the Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue Team hiked three miles and reached Morse and Nigro at approximately 1:20 a.m. The couple had a tent and sleeping bags and was able to make a fire but could not keep warm “due to their clothing, the weather, and their lack of experience,” officials said.
Their sleeping bags were soaked from the rain and they were wearing cotton, which retains water. One of them was showing symptoms of mild hypothermia, officials said.
Rescuers provided the couple with warm clothing, food, and water, and once they warmed up they began hiking with the rescue party. They arrived back at the trailhead at approximately 6 a.m., officials said.
Officials said hikers should check websites such as www.mountwashington.org for the latest weather conditions in the White Mountains and make sure they have what they need to be prepared by visiting wildlife.state.nh.us/outdoor-recreation/hiking-safety.html.