Authorities say a Virginia couple likely would have died on New Hampshire’s Mount Lafayette last week had another hiker not found them and provided them shelter.
The couple – Gregory Reck, 69, and Lelia Vann, 57, of Norfolk, Virginia – were reportedly unprepared for the nasty conditions on Lafayette last Thursday, as they were caught in 60-mile-per-hour winds, freezing rain and fog. They were experienced hikers attempting a 15-mile hike from Liberty Springs Trailhead to the Galehead Hut, but they said they’d only taken a quick look at the weather report for that day and had packed light.
At roughly 1 p.m., the couple set off their emergency locator beacon. But rescuers were unable to reach them on their cellphone and were unaware of what the emergency was.
At 3 p.m., the couple was hypothermic, unable to continue hiking and had huddled behind a rock for protection when they were discovered by another hiker, Adam DeWolfe, 37. At that time, Vann said she had no feeling in her hand and legs, and Reck was shivering badly.
DeWolfe guided the couple a short way down the mountain, where he then set up his tent and gave them his sleeping bag so they could warm up until rescuers arrived. Vann said DeWolfe kept them from dying.