FRANCONIA, N.H. — A search for a hiker who fell down a mountain pass in whiteout conditions and spent the night in below-freezing temperatures ended with a helicopter rescue Thursday, New Hampshire’s Fish and Game Department said.

Matthew Gunby, 36, of Meredith, was attempting to make it to the summit of Mount Lafayette on Wednesday. But high winds and blowing snow forced him to turn back between the mountain and Mount Lincoln, Lt. Mark Ober Jr. said in written statement.

Gunby lost the trail and ended up falling down a steep, rocky section into an area known as the Walker Brook drainage. He suffered an upper-body injury. He couldn’t make his way back to the trail and called 911.

Conservation officers and volunteers from Mountain Rescue Services responded and searched through the night into early Thursday for Gunby, Ober said. The initial GPS coordinate from the 911 call was inaccurate. The search was temporarily suspended at 3 a.m., Ober said.

Gunby managed to make another call to 911 later Thursday that provided a more accurate coordinate. Due to the remote, steep location and Gunby’s weakened state, Fish and Game contacted the National Guard requesting their helicopter.

The chopper found Gunby at about 10:10 a.m. on the west side of Mount Lincoln in the Walker Brook drainage, commonly referred to as Lincoln’s Throat. Its crew safely hoisted him into the helicopter about 15 minutes later. Gunby was brought to a Littleton hospital, where he was listed in stable condition.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: