PITTSBURG — N.H. Fish and Game responded to two separate incidents over the weekend on the same stretch of trail. Deep snow conditions and steep terrain made the northeastern side of Stub Hill nearly impassable.
The first call was received on Saturday, Feb. 18, around 6 p.m., from Travis Davenport, 22, of West Chesterfield who was traveling with six other riders.
The group had attempted to descend a non-maintained trail to connect them back to Trail 143, but became disoriented in a maze of off-trail snowmobile tracks.
In an effort to contact help, Davenport traveled back to Stub Hill Pond where he was able to get limited cell phone service and called for help.
After several attempts, conservation officers were able to make cell phone contact with Davenport around 7 p.m., and shortly after 8 p.m. the officers reached the stranded group.
Riders were carrying multiple GPS units, flashlights, water and other essentials with them, and there were no injuries or damages sustained in the incident.
The leader of the group was issued a citation for operating a snowmobile off of the maintained trail system, and the group returned Sunday to retrieve the machines.
Less than 24 hours later, conservation officers were once again called out on Sunday, Feb. 19, to the same stretch of trail that had prompted a rescue the evening before.
At about 2 p.m., a call came into 911 reporting a group of 10 snowmobiles had become stuck in the deep snow on the northeastern slope of the mountain.
About an hour later Anthony Rutledge, 45, of Southbury, Conn., was able to make cell phone contact with officers who began gathering information about the riding party and ongoing incident.
Officers responded by snowmobile to Stub Hill Pond, but then had to walk a non-maintained trail, locating the group at about 4 p.m.
“The group had been in the Stub Hill area in search of moose, and had followed a narrow, non-maintained and undesignated trail from the pond which led them steeply downhill in the wrong direction”, Conservation Officer Chris Egan stated. “It was actually the very same trail that another group of seven snowmobilers got into trouble on after following last evening, prompting a 911 response.”
The two adult leaders of the group were cited for operating snowmobiles off of the designated trail system without written landowner permission. No injuries were sustained as a result of the situation.
N.H. Fish and Game encourages riders to stay on the marked, maintained and legally designated snowmobile trail system.
Fish and Game responded to to Stub Hill in Pittsburg to assist several snowmobilers who were stuck off-trail on Sunday. (COURTESY PHOTO)