Search and Rescue of the Northern Adirondacks, an all-volunteer, nonprofit group based in Saranac Lake, New York, has created the Hua Davis Wilderness Scholarship in memory of a hiker who died hiking in the Adirondacks nearly two years ago.
On March 4, 2016, Hua Davis, an avid Delaware-based hiker, set out to scale MacNaughton Mountain in the High Peaks Wilderness.
She made it to the summit of the mountain but died later that day from hypothermia due to exposure. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation forest rangers found her body the following afternoon.
Davis’ clothes were soaked through, even though she had made an effort to light a fire. She was an experienced hiker who had climbed all 46 Adirondack High Peaks in winter, hiked sections of the Appalachian Trail and completed the Saranac Lake Ultra 6.
According to members of Search and Rescue of the Northern Adirondacks, Davis’ death was preventable. They say she had a sleeping bag, snowshoes and other winter gear in her car but failed to take them with her.
Now, Davis’s daughter, Echo, and son-in-law, Steve, want to ensure that no one else perishes due to mistakes like Hua’s. The scholarship will provide financial assistance to search and rescue volunteers and members of the public who wish to increase their wilderness survival skills and medical training.
Two scholarships will be available each year. One will be open to the anyone wanting to learn wilderness medical care, survival or mountaineering training. The second scholarship will be open to active volunteers on search and rescue teams that are part of the New York State Federation of Search and Rescue Teams.
Applications are due by February 28. The scholarship recipients will be decided by the Search and Rescue membership at its March meeting.
Completed applications can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Davis Scholarship, SARNAK, PO Box 1116, Saranac Lake, NY 12983.
For more information, including the application and criteria, check out www.sarnak.org/cms/scholarship.