MISSING HIKER OK AFTER BEING FOUND ON WASHINGTON

by Christian Mower on December 30, 2011

NEW HAMPSHIRE FISH AND GAME OFFICERS SAY A 67-YEAR-OLD OHIO MAN WHO HADN’T BEEN HEARD FROM FOR MORE THAN TWO DAYS IS ALIVE AND WELL AFTER BEING LOCATED ON MOUNT WASHINGTON THURSDAY.

CONSERVATION OFFICER MATTHEW HOLMES SAYS DAVID DEUBNER OF MONT PELIER HAD LAST SPOKEN WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS TUESDAY MORNING BEFORE SETTING OUT ON A SOLO HIKE ON THE MOUNTAIN.

DEUBNER’S GIRLFRIEND CALLED FOR HELP THURSDAY AFTER NOT HEARING FROM HIM AND SEARCHERS BEGAN LOOKING FOR DEUBNER EARLY IN THE AFTERNOON.

HOLMES SAYS VOLUNTEERS FROM THE APPALACHIAN MOUNTAIN CLUB FOUND DEUBNER ABOUT 3 P.M.ON THE OLD JACKSON ROAD HIKING TRAIL ABOUT A HALF MILE FROM THE AUTO ROAD. DEUBNER WAS NOT AWARE PEOPLE WERE LOOKING FOR HIM AND HAD TURNED OFF HIS CELL PHONE TO SAVE ITS BATTERY IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

DEUBNER’S RELATIVES WERE RELIEVED TO LEARN HE WAS OK. HOLMES SAYS HE WAS WELL PREPARED FOR HIS HIKE. WHILE HE WAS ON THE MOUNTAIN MORE THAN AN INCH OF RAIN FELL, TEMPERATURES DROPPED MORE THAN 40 DEGREES AND WINDS GUSTED TO MORE THAN 100 MILES PER HOUR.

DEUBNER TOLD OFFICIALS HE HAD BEEN CAREFUL TO KEEP HIS GEAR DRY, HAD DECIDED TO NOT TRY TO REACH THE SUMMIT BECAUSE OF THE WEATHER – AND HE HAD TO SLITHER AND CRAWL FOR ABOUT A QUARTER OF A MILE ABOVE THE TREE LINE BECAUSE STRONG WINDS PREVENTED HIM FROM STANDING UP.

MEMBERS OF ANDROSCOGGIN VALLEY SEARCH AND RESCUE, U.S. FOREST SERVICE SNOW RANGERS AND MOUNT WASHINGTON STATE PARK WORKERS ALSO HELPED IN THE SEARCH.

FOR INFORMATION ON HOW TO PROPERLY PREPARE FOR A HIKE, SEE THE WEBSITE AT www.hikesafe.com.