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Deceased NH - Emily Sotelo, 20, missing at Franconia Notch in the White Mountains; Nov 2022

Twiglets

For Real
OK, so now I'm looking at the Pemi SAR report on FB from last night.

They show where the helicopter has been searching. Doesn't it look like they've been looking on Lafayette and Garfield? With only one pass along the Lafayette ridge south to the Flume?

This would go to what I was saying upthread.... That maybe ES thought Garfield was the Flume... @Breaking Trail and @Kaboom! , too.

Here's the clip of the helicopter path

Pemi SAR FB site
@Nitty Gritty I’m reading this in retrospect. The heli flying over the ridge between Lafayette and Garfield…just to the left of that, when you’re hiking northbound is where they found ES. You summit Lafayette, and you aim along the ridge towards Garfield. She was found to the NW of Lafayette per SAR.
 

I Am A Rock

Groovy
@Nitty Gritty I’m reading this in retrospect. The heli flying over the ridge between Lafayette and Garfield…just to the left of that, when you’re hiking northbound is where they found ES. You summit Lafayette, and you aim along the ridge towards Garfield. She was found to the NW of Lafayette per SAR.
SAR had a beaner on this spot early in the search. Experience…
 

Rainforest

Groovy
I found a great photo of some SAR members from Androscoggin Valley on the ES search. It gives a great idea how they're outfitted. Maybe later, we can find out what they carry in their kit.

attachment-searcj.jpg

 

Rainforest

Groovy
Much more detail now from SAR on how ES was found:

Sotelo tried to quickly escape the mountain, cutting a roughly straight line through thick brush down the northwest side of the mountain toward Interstate 93, officials said.

But as the snowfall and wind gusts picked up and the temperature dropped to single digits and below, Sotelo eventually stopped and took cover in a drainage area.

“I think she ran until she couldn’t do it anymore,” said Colonel Kevin Jordan of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, which coordinated the three-day search for Sotelo.

Sotelo’s body was lifted out of the wilderness by a New Hampshire National Guard Helicopter, officials said.

*****
When rescuers found Sotelo’s body Wednesday, she was wearing a light coat and shirt with windbreaker pants, Jordan said. She had no hat and only a small pack with a water bladder inside that was frozen. Jordan said Sotelo had three-season hiking shoes but was barefoot when they found her.

Jordan said some rescuers had encountered waist-deep snow as they searched the mountain. It’s not likely she survived past Sunday night, he said.

 

Cliffed Out

For Real
Much more detail now from SAR on how ES was found:

Sotelo tried to quickly escape the mountain, cutting a roughly straight line through thick brush down the northwest side of the mountain toward Interstate 93, officials said.

But as the snowfall and wind gusts picked up and the temperature dropped to single digits and below, Sotelo eventually stopped and took cover in a drainage area.

“I think she ran until she couldn’t do it anymore,” said Colonel Kevin Jordan of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, which coordinated the three-day search for Sotelo.

Sotelo’s body was lifted out of the wilderness by a New Hampshire National Guard Helicopter, officials said.

*****
When rescuers found Sotelo’s body Wednesday, she was wearing a light coat and shirt with windbreaker pants, Jordan said. She had no hat and only a small pack with a water bladder inside that was frozen. Jordan said Sotelo had three-season hiking shoes but was barefoot when they found her.

Jordan said some rescuers had encountered waist-deep snow as they searched the mountain. It’s not likely she survived past Sunday night, he said.

Gosh, the article keeps going...

“She was in extreme conditions on very challenging terrain,” Jordan said. “We don’t think she had a clue where she was. I don’t think she could see. My guys couldn’t see up there. There was no visibility.”

On Tuesday, searchers descended the mountain from the summit and located a plastic water bottle and a banana near some tracks they believed were left by Sotelo, Jordan said.

The crews followed the tracks for about 250 yards, which took about an hour and a half as they moved through dense forest and snow, Jordan said. The rescuers were called back as they approached a dangerous drop-off and night was setting in. They noted their coordinates to resume the search the next day.


*********
On Wednesday, rescue crews began ascending the mountain from the northwest side in the direction of where the previous night’s rescue crew had stopped and located Sotelo’s body along the way about 11 a.m. on Wednesday.
 
I found a great photo of some SAR members from Androscoggin Valley on the ES search. It gives a great idea how they're outfitted. Maybe later, we can find out what they carry in their kit.

View attachment 84

@White_Mountains Where is this SAR crew standing? What is the peak to the far, far, right? What about the nub in the distance between the two guys?
 
I'm thinking ES was wearing something like these pants. They are actually leggings with wind panels. No mention of base layer bottoms from Colonel Jordan.
Usually, you'd wear wind pants over pants. That's why I'm guessing she was wearing pants with wind panels. These ones are cool, and many companies have them.

 

I Am A Rock

Groovy
I’m speculating…
ES got to the top of Lafayette in daylight. She couldn’t see the trail or signage because of the weather. It was grey, though, not black.

She headed down the drainage, or was blown off. NHF&G said she was blown off. She had to be able to see something, or she couldn’t have made it down the drainage more than a few steps. She would have tripped over a short tree of the many that the Colonel describes. She likely slipped and fell several times, though.

Perhaps her shoes came off as she rushed down the mountain. The banana and water bottle flew out of pockets.

The fact that she still had a banana left tells me she hadn’t gone far through her day. And she had water in the bladder and a bottle. No sign that she had an empty water container. I’m thinking 8 at the latest.

It took SAR an hour and a half down that wash just to go 250 yards.

She had to be sweating a lot, and this would have made her cool down very fast the moment she stopped.

Awful. The whole thing. But I’m glad they were able to find her, unlike Michael Miller. Snow on the ground meant they could see footprints…
 

Hates Ramen

For Real
I'm thinking ES was wearing something like these pants. They are actually leggings with wind panels. No mention of base layer bottoms from Colonel Jordan.
Usually, you'd wear wind pants over pants. That's why I'm guessing she was wearing pants with wind panels. These ones are cool, and many companies have them.

This is just so irresponsible of Patagonia. “Run, ski, or cycle in the harshest of winter conditions while staying protected….”
The winter Whites, Patagonia, what say you?
 

Rainforest

Groovy
Looky looky what the Daily Mail has made up this time…

A) these were not the last mountains on ES’s 4000 footer list
B) ES was found off Lafayette to the NW; this was the first mountain on her agenda for that day
C) you couldn’t descend off Lafayette and hit the other mountains on the list
D) because of the lay of the land, she hadn’t made it the 2 additional hours or so hike down to Lincoln, then Flume, otherwise she would have tried to descend at the south end of the ridge, either towards I-93 or Lincoln
E) there was no way she could have walked along the ridge
F) as @I Am A Rock points out, she couldn’t have gone along the ridge if she still had the banana and all her water left, since that would be towards the end of the trip
G) ES was supposed to meet her mom at the Flume parking lot

 

Owner

Administrator
@Rainforest

I can add to your points. However, it looks to me like there’s one person (Brian Garvey) who doesn't understand what was intended, the map, how ES was equipped, or what the Colonel said in his statement, which was more to the gist of “she was working towards a goal of hiking all the 4000 footers” rather than “she accomplished her goal”, which she did not.

Perhaps I sound uncharitable, but Brian Garvey is minimizing the catastrophic planning and preparation for this trip. This is how people get in trouble; they make up some kind of fantasy nonsense, and others believe it.
 

Naughty Pine

With It
@Owner and @Rainforest

It sounds garbled, but is Brian Garvey saying ES did this before and missed the trail down? In 2021? Or is he saying someone else did that, their phone froze, they put it under their armpit, and SAR came and got them?
I got curious about a previous episode like this one, and, yep, bingo, January of 2021. 2 guys with trail runners and spikes, no gear for the weather, and wind of 40-50 mph.

Identical, except ES might not have had spikes. Trail runners and low lightweight hiking shoes? Same diff in these conditions.

Their water bottles had frozen, and….

Déjà vu, all of it.

 

Cabin Fever

Groovy
@Owner and @Rainforest

It sounds garbled, but is Brian Garvey saying ES did this before and missed the trail down? In 2021? Or is he saying someone else did that, their phone froze, they put it under their armpit, and SAR came and got them?
The "she died doing what she loved" motif. No sense that ES put something like 100 others at the risk of their lives, namely all the SAR teams. They were out there in "killer" weather. They have families and loved ones. Yet, they were willing to help.
 
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