Experienced Hiker Found Dead on New Hampshire Trail

The body of Christopher Roma, an experienced hiker, was recovered on Thursday after he succumbed to the elements on a day hike in New Hampshire.

A resident of Thornton, N.H., he took to one of his favorite trails on Tuesday just a few miles up the road in Lincoln. Mr. Roma, who was 38, according to his voter registration records, was well versed in the state’s White Mountains, having hiked each of the 48 4,000-foot peaks, a feat known as the N.H. 48.

But by about 10 p.m., Mr. Roma knew he was in trouble. Snow on parts of the trail was waist-deep, temperatures were in the single digits, and wind was picking up, according to a statement from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. Friends of Mr. Roma’s alerted emergency services after hearing from him that he had gotten stuck on a trail near Mount Bond, a peak about 60 miles north of Concord, and was in distress. Mr. Roma himself called for help a short while later, informing rescue workers that he was “very cold,” the statement said.

Rescuers from several agencies began a search for Mr. Roma at 2 a.m. on Jan. 17, but snow and wind slowed the efforts, and a call was made to the New Hampshire Army National Guard to request a helicopter. Guard members then made three attempts to reach the area but were stymied by poor visibility and low clouds.

By the time a rescue team on the ground reached Mr. Roma at 5 p.m., he was already dead.

“While his family and friends are devastated by this loss, we find comfort knowing that he died doing what he loved,” read a statement posted to a GoFundMe set up by Mr. Roma’s friends.

Mr. Roma’s trail name — a moniker hikers use to refer to one another on long treks — was Rafiki. He had completed the arduous “triple crown of hiking,” which comprises the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide Trail, the country’s three major long-distance trails. He had also set up a business, North East Trekking Company, that helped others prepare for their own thousand-mile endeavors, according to the company’s website.

According to interviews his family gave to The Associated Press, Mr. Roma had a 2-year-old son, Solomon.

Mr. Roma’s mother, Barbara Roma, said he had probably been trying to beat his personal best time on a trail that was very familiar to him, but got caught in “freak weather.”

“Once you get to a certain point, you have to make that choice to continue or turn back,” she said. “And he was never really a turning-back kind of kid.”

Source link

Leave a comment