CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – Two young men unprepared for the cold were rescued from a Black Mountain cabin in Jackson after fearing one had suffered frostbite.

Pasquale Digiovangiacomo and Dean Cooper, both 18 and from Cranston, R.I., hiked to a cabin they had reserved for the weekend on Tuesday afternoon, but they quickly ran into trouble.

About 200 yards up the trail, the men realized they had brought too much gear to carry up the steep mountain, so they abandoned their sleeping bags, a bundle of kindling and a pillow by the side of the trail.

At the cabin, the men tried to warm up by starting a fire in a small wood stove, but they struggled to get it lit. Once it got started, the stove gave off little heat.

“The shelter offers protection from the elements but it doesn’t heat up very well,” said Brian Abrams, a conservation officer for the New Hampshire Fish and Game.

Abrams said besides having problems with the stove, the men didn’t wear the proper gear. Both men were wearing light boots, which failed to keep their feet warm on the hike up the mountain. Abrams said one man’s feet were so cold, he worried he had frostbite.

Abrams said the men used a cell phone to call for help Tuesday evening.

Abrams and fellow Fish and Game officer Brad Morse, who is also a paramedic, rented two pairs of winter hiking boots in North Conway and headed up the mountain to the cabin.

Once they arrived, Morse examined the man’s feet and found he did not have frostbite. They gave the men dry socks and the heavier boots and helped them hike down the mountain.

The group got to the bottom of the trail around 11 p.m. and although the officers suggested the men get a hotel room for the night, they opted to drive back to Rhode Island, said Abrams.

Abrams said the rescue should remind people to seek advice about proper preparations before venturing into the woods in winter.

“They were new to the winter hiking conditions and places like Eastern Mountain Sports and other outfitters in the North Country can provide equipment to rent and purchase, as well as some good advice,” Abrams said.

In New Hampshire, people who are rescued by Fish and Game can be fined to defray the cost if they were negligent when heading into the woods. Abrams said the men haven’t been fined yet, but that will likely change.

“It’s definitely going to be reviewed,” he said. “There’s a good possibility they will be charged.”


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