LANCASTER, N.H. (AP) — A hiker who activated an emergency personal locator beacon amid brutal weather conditions including 100 mph winds in a mountainous area named after U.S. presidents was found dead on Monday.
The body of Kate Matrosova was found Monday afternoon between Mount Madison and Mount Adams, part of a series of summits named after presidents and other prominent Americans and called the Presidential Range, the state's Fish and Game Department said.
Matrosova, who was from New York City, had been dropped off by her husband early Sunday morning at the base of the mountains. She was alone and planned to hike the top of Mount Madison, WMUR-TV said, before heading through Mount Adams, Mount Jefferson and Mount Washington, which at about 6,300 feet is the highest peak in the Northeast.
She activated the beacon, which sent her coordinates to rescuers, on Sunday afternoon.
"Unfortunately, a lot of the coordinates that we received over the night were all over the place within a mile circumference," Fish and Game Lt. Jim Goss told WMUR-TV.
Search and rescue crews couldn't reach the area overnight because of extreme winds exceeding 100 mph and temperatures about 30 degrees below zero, authorities said.
A National Guard crew flew over the area with a helicopter on Monday morning but couldn't see anything because of blowing snow and had to turn back.
A team made up of Fish and Game officers, Mountain Rescue Services members and Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue members braved 108 mph winds and frigid temperatures to reach the area. They said it appears Matrosova, 32, died of exposure to the extreme temperatures.
"I guess if you are gonna hike in this type of weather you need to be in a more sheltered area, not up on an open exposed ridgeline," Goss said. "There's just no room for error in a place like that."