Mass hiker dies on Mount Washington

An avid hiker from Andover died when he climbed Mount Washington on Saturday. Even after the rescuer faced a howling wind on the Gulfside Trail and drove rain and snow to arrive at him, he succumbed to severe hypothermia.

Lieutenant Bob Mancini Jr. of the New Hampshire Fish and Wildlife Service said:

These situations are not normal in June, but are not unexpected on Mount Washington, which is famous for its stormy weather all year round.

“Mountain Washington is historically known as one of the worst weather locations in the world,” said Lieutenant Mancini.

According to his wife, the victim, Xi Chen, 53, was an experienced hiker who had booked the Lakes of the Cloud Hut at the top.

The weather continued to deteriorate all day long.

Boston 25 got the last string of a text message to his wife. She refused to speak on the camera. One of the first texts shows that Chin was worried.

It read:

“A little worrisome hyperthermia. Keep an eye on my place.”

Just before 4:30, he sent his intended destination.

“Mountain Washington or Cloud Hut Lake.”

His wife replied:

“It will get dark sooner when the weather rises. Please let me know when you get there.”

Shortly thereafter, another ominous text:

“I’m in trouble if I stop moving.”

His wife replied:

“If you guess, when will you get there?”

This was one of his last messages:

“People in need cannot move.”

His wife tried to make a phone call, but did not get a reply. Then she dialed 911. It was 6:30 now.

The rescuer was busy on another phone. Due to the weather, at least half a dozen other rescues were made. It took a while, but I finally arrived at Chen.

“Mr. Chen was always unresponsive,” said Lieutenant Mancini.

He says they carried him more than a mile to the summit where the truck was waiting. They drove to the base to meet the ambulance. It was seven hours after the first 911 call. Chen was taken to a local hospital, but he did not survive.

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