MOUNT WASHINGTON, N.H. (AP) – A doctor whose body was found Sunday after an apparent fall on Mount Washington was “a tremendously thoughtful and caring physician” who will be missed, said a spokeswoman for the Manchester hospital where he worked.

Dr. Wieslaw E. Walczak, 62, of Bedford did not return from a planned hike up the Tuckerman Ravine trail. He was reported missing Saturday night by his wife, who described him as an experienced hiker who knew the area well.

His body was spotted about 9:50 a.m. Sunday in the steep headwall area of Tuckerman’s Ravine on the east side of the mountain, New Hampshire Fish and Game Lt. Douglas Gralenski told the Union Leader of Manchester.

“Everything is consistent with him having an unexpected fall,” Gralenski said.

Fish and game officials did not know the time or circumstances of his fall and a dispatcher for the agency said she had no further details Sunday evening.

Though Mount Washington is only 6,288 feet high, the winds, fog, moisture and cold temperatures combine to make it “home of the world’s worst weather,” according to its Web site. Hikers have been known to underestimate the conditions.

Walczak, an internist, was affiliated with Elliot Hospital in Manchester and practiced at Granite State Medical Center, owned by the hospital. He previously practiced medicine in Poland and West Germany, and was also involved in teaching and research, according to the hospital’s Web site.

He began his medical practice in Manchester in 1994.

Hospital spokeswoman Susanna Whitcher said in a statement that Walczak spent years at Elliot “sharing his talents and skills for the good of his patients and our community.” She said he was one of the first doctors in the Elliot Physician Network and described him as “loved and sought out by the community.”

“He was a tremendously thoughtful and caring physician who will be greatly missed by his patients,” she said.

No one with the hospital or the medical center was available for further comment.


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