Lincoln, NH: At 10:20 PM on Tuesday January 16th New Hampshire Fish and Game Conservation Officers were made aware of a hiker in distress near Mount Bond in Lincoln. Concerned acquaintances had contacted NH 911 after speaking with the hiker by cell phone. The solo male hiker was thought to be in the area of Mount Bond and that he might be moving towards Bondcliff. Eventually the hiker made contact with NH911 and coordinates were obtained that placed the hiker between Mount Bond and Mount Guyot. Before the call was lost the hiker stated he was very cold. The weather forecast for the area was for heavy winds, temperatures in the single digits and snow. A rescue effort commenced and rescuers from NH Fish and Game, Pemi Valley Search and Rescue Team, and Mountain Rescue Service met at Lincoln Woods. By 0200 hours on January 17th the first rescuers started in. The rescue effort was slowed as the responders had to trudge thru waist deep snow and once the rescuers were exposed above tree line they faced the heavy winds and blowing snow. Realizing progress would be slow a call was made to New Hampshire Army National Guard to attempt a helicopter extraction of the hiker.
Throughout the day the New Hampshire Army National Guard flew three separate flights to the Lincoln area but could never get near Mount Guyot due to low clouds and poor visibility. By early afternoon ground crews still had not reached the subject. At 5:00 PM a team from Mountain Rescue Service reached the hiker but unfortunately he was deceased. It was decided that all rescuers would come off the mountain for the night and an extraction would be planned for the next morning. Ground teams from NH Fish and Game, Mountain Rescue Service, Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue Team, Pemi Valley Search and Rescue Team, Lakes Region Search and Rescue, and the Upper Valley Wilderness Response Team departed before daybreak from Zealand Road to attempt a different access to the Mount Guyot area. The New Hampshire Army National Guard would depart Concord at sunrise to attempt an aerial recovery. Weather conditions remained in the single digit temperatures and there was still considerable wind in the area. The cloud ceiling had lifted somewhat overnight allowing the New Hampshire Army National Guard access to Mount Guyot. The helicopter was able to land and recover the body of the deceased hiker at around 8:30 AM on Thursday January 18th . The aerial
recovery saved what would have been an arduous carry out for the 15 Conservation Officers and over 30 volunteers that had responded and were on the trail.
The deceased hiker was identified as 37 year old Christopher Roma of Thornton New Hampshire. Christopher Roma is an experienced and well known hiker, hiking extensively throughout New Hampshire’s White Mountains and beyond.
As a reminder to outdoor enthusiasts winter conditions have arrived in the mountains of New Hampshire. Proper attire to include traction devices and snow shoes are recommended. For safe hiking tips and a list of essential gear, visit hikesafe.com. Outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to purchase a Hike Safe card at wildnh.com/safe. The card helps support Fish and Game search and rescue activities.