New Hampshire officials say the body of a missing hiker was found off a trail in near-freezing temperatures on Christmas Day.
On the eve of Christmas a 28-year-old man hiked an eight-mile loop near Mount Lincoln, a 5,000-foot peak in the White Mountains, according to a news release from the state Department of Fish and Game.
During the day, a family member in China tracked his whereabouts, noting that he was an inexperienced tourist, officials said.
About seven hours after he began his hike, a family member noticed he appeared to have veered off the trail and his phone was nearly out of power, officials said.
As temperatures neared zero degrees, a search began for the hiker, who officials said may not have had any equipment.
Early on the morning of Dec. 25, officers who spoke came across footprints that appeared to belong to a tourist, officials said. The tracks veered off the trail and led the officers to a low-lying area between two mountains.
About half an hour before sunrise, officers discovered the hiker’s body a half-mile from the trailhead in Franconia, officials said. His remains were then transported to the start of the track.
The identity of the tourist has not yet been revealed.
A spokesman for the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game did not immediately respond to McClatchy News’ request for comment.
Several trails surrounding Mount Lincoln are considered challenging, according to the online hiking guide AllTrails. Earlier in December, one user commented that one of the clues was “all frozen and very cool,” while another added that hiking in the area is “very dangerous” without micro spikes, a type of shoe that provides traction.
According to the state search and rescue office, there were approx 20 deaths as a result of “off-road emergencies” in 2022, according to New Hampshire Public Radio.