Distressed New Jersey hiker helped down White Mountain Trail

LINCOLN, NH – New Hampshire Fish & Game Department was notified of a hiker in distress on the Liberty Springs Trail in Lincoln on Sunday.

The hiker was unable to continue down the trail and a companion with her called 911 for assistance. Hikers were only planning a day hike and didn’t have the gear to stay overnight.

Conservation officers and volunteers from the Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue team stepped in to organize a rescue effort as night approached.

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The conservation officer met the hiker around 6:00 p.m. and she was slowly descending, about a mile from the trailhead. The distressed hiker has been identified as Aleeza Shaikh, 26, of Jersey City, NJ.

A group of Good Samaritan hikers also coming down the trail had encountered Aleeza, who was lying on the trail at the time and helped her get moving again. Aleeza was able to walk the rest of the way with minor assistance, accompanied by a small rescue team.

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She reached the Liberty Springs parking lot without further incident at 7:00 p.m. Due to the hiker’s inaccurate planning and inadequate equipment, the New Hampshire Fish & Game Department will recommend that she be charged for this avoidable rescue.

Fish and Game reminds people that hiking in the White Mountains can be extremely difficult and quickly become dangerous, even deadly, especially in winter conditions. People often underestimate how long it takes to hike a mountain in snowy and icy conditions. It’s also easy to be fooled by trail distances because a 4-mile hike on flat ground doesn’t require as much energy as a 4-mile hike on steep terrain.

Conservation officers would also like to remind everyone to plan a safe hike and allow plenty of time. Always bring dedicated lights, even on a day hike. For more information, please visit http://www.hikesafe.com/ for more information.

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