A family intending to hike what is considered the most difficult trail in New Hampshire’s White Mountains had to be rescued by Fish and Game officials on Wednesday.
At around 6:30 p.m., the group of four hikers, which included two children ages 10 and 12, called 911 to say they were stranded. Members of New Hampshire Fish and Game and a member of the Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue team responded.
The hikers, who were visiting from Pennsylvania, had attempted to hike up the Huntington Ravine Trail before they reached a point where they felt it was unsafe to try going up or to descend.
Rescuers responded with ropes and technical gear to assist the stranded hikers. The first rescuers arrived at the entrance to the Huntington Ravine Trail via the Mt. Washington Auto Road at roughly 8 p.m. when another 911 call was made by the family, stating that they had made it to the top of the ravine and no longer required assistance. However due to approaching darkness and low visibility on the summit, the response was continued to ensure they made it safely off the mountain.
The initial rescuers started down the trail and met the family hiking up at approximately 8:15 p.m. They were all in good condition and easily hiked up to the awaiting vehicles.
The family was driven off the mountain and back to Pinkham Appalachian Mountain Center, where they had started from earlier in the day.
The hikers told Fish and Game officials they had intended to hike to the summit of Mt. Washington via Huntington Ravine Trail. One of the hikers had completed this hike several times before in the past and thought he could guide his mother and younger siblings through this difficult trail. In the process, the group noticed the signs placed by the U.S. Forest Service earlier in the season, warning hikers how difficult the trail was and to turn around if they were not prepared for the “most difficult trail in the White Mountains.” They continued on despite the warning.