FRANCONIA, N.H. (CBS) – When extreme weather conditions trapped a New Hampshire hiker in the mountains of Franconia this weekend, he turned to Facebook for help.
Robert Cummings, 25, of Loudon was hiking on Mount Lafayette Friday morning when he ran into whiteout conditions. Overcome by the snow and high winds, Cummings could not locate trail markers and knew he needed help.
Unable to get a phone call through to 911, Cummings posted a message to Facebook. “send help, stuck by cairn on Old Bridle in alpine between hut and Lafayette Summit. Wind took map and compass white out conditions” he wrote.
Several people saw the post and called the Department of Fish and Game. Cummings did manage to get a text message through to 911 as well, saying he was stranded on the mountain.
That’s when he hunkered down in a snow cave and waited for rescuers.
According to Fish and Game, a brief phone call eventually went through, allowing just enough time for searchers to get GPS coordinates for Cummings’ location.
More than 14 hours after he set out on his hike, and six hours after his Facebook post, rescuers located him. A couple of hours later they all safely emerged from the mountain trails.
“As a reminder, winter conditions have arrived in the White Mountains,” a statement from Fish and Game read. They urge hikers to visit hikesafe.com for tips on staying safe.