Hikers stranded in stormy Berkshires rescued after 9-hour overnight search

Mount Washington — Two hikers were led out of the snow-packed Mount Washington State Forest early Wednesday morning, nine hours after the pair realized they were hopelessly lost amidst the whipping wind and bitter temperatures.

The two hikers first reported being lost at 7:48 p.m., according to Massachusetts State Police. The two hikers, 47-year-old and 53-year-old males told Troopers they were hiking on the Alander Trail as darkness crept in. Eventually, the two realized they could no longer see the trail markings and that the heavy falling snow had erased their tracks.

The Mount Washington State Forest saw at least a foot of snow, wind gusts of up to 25 miles per hour, and visibility was low, according to Boston 25 Meteorologist Vicki Graf.

State Police told the two men to stay put while search teams tried to locate them on snowmobiles.

In order to deploy the snowmobiles, first responders had to clear the roads between the command post and the entrance to the forest trail blocked by trees and power lines. By 11:15 p.m., National Grid employees were finally able to turn off the power to the downed lines so the road could be cleared.

Shortly after midnight, the search team was forced to dismount their snowmobiles due to the two feet of snow and continued the search on foot. The team was able to find the hikers at 2:30 a.m. The two men were suffering from fatigue and cold temperatures but were otherwise unharmed, according to State Police.

Finally, the search team and the stranded hikers exited the forest at 4:48 a.m. Wednesday morning. The hikers were transported to an area hospital to be treated for fatigue and cold weather exposure.


Posted by Massachusetts State Police on Wednesday, March 15, 2023

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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