Emily Sotelo, who was originally from Massachusetts, made it to her planned destination , but at some point succumbed to subzero temperatures that dropped as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Her body was found Wednesday, on what would have been her 20th birthday
Emily Sotelo, a student at Vanderbilt University, was discovered dead in New Hampshire at around 11 a.m. on Wednesday, according to conservation officials.
Officials said that her corpse was discovered on the northwest face of Mount Lafayette in Franconia Notch State Park, where she had begun hiking days before.
Sotelo was last seen wearing a brown jacket, workout trousers, and sneakers, which searchers cautioned were not suitable for the region’s harsh winter weather.
They said that their extensive four-day search operation was hindered by heavy winds, frigid temperatures, and blowing snow, which eventually confirmed that Sotelo could not have survived such circumstances on her own.
Sotelo’s mother sent her out at a trailhead heading to Mount Lafayette, Haystack, and Flume in Franconia at approximately 5:00 a.m. on Sunday.
Her body, officials said, was found on the northwest face of Mount Lafayette within the confines of Franconia Notch State Park, where she had set out on a hike four days prior. It is not yet known when or how she died, but officials said Wednesday it was likely due to exposure
Sotelo, a native of Massachusetts, would make it to her goal, but would eventually succumb to subzero temperatures as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
Officials dispatched a national guard chopper to recover Sotelo’s body off the mountain face after the terrible finding. The formal cause of death was not immediately determined, however it was likely related to exposure.
Emily Sotelo, a native of Massachusetts, made it to her intended destination, but perished at some time to subzero temperatures as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit. On Wednesday, which would have been her 20th birthday, her corpse was discovered.
Her corpse was reportedly discovered on the northwest face of Mount Lafayette in Franconia Notch State Park, where she had begun her walk four days before. It is unknown when or how she died, but officials stated Wednesday that exposure was likely the cause.
David Walsh, an officer with the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game, cautioned hikers about the perils of trekking in the state’s notorious White Mountains while improperly attired during the winter months.
Be prepared for the unexpected when trekking in New Hampshire, particularly in the White Mountains, he told WMUR-TV.
During their search, officials said that temperatures had plummeted to ‘around zero,’ with wind speeds resulting in a wind chill value of -30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Officials sprawling four-day search effort, they added, was ‘hampered by high winds, cold temperatures and blowing snow’ – and ultimately proved their suspicions that Sotelo could not have survived those conditions on her own
Walsh cautioned people who planned to trek the treacherous mountain range to take the winter season’s threats seriously and take the required preparations.
They stated that the four-day search operation was impeded by heavy winds, chilly temperatures, and blowing snow, which finally confirmed the officials’ fears that Sotelo could not have lived alone in those conditions.
David Walsh, a Fish and Game officer, stated that Sotelo’s death should serve as a cautionary tale for all winter hikers. He cautioned hikers about the perils of trekking in the White Mountains when improperly attired during the winter months.
“Be knowledgeable and prepared,” the official said. “Be aware of the weather conditions. Dress according to the weather forecast. Have spare clothing. Bring extra food and drink. Have a flashlight map and compass.’
Fish and Game officer David Walsh said Sotelo’s death should serve as a warning to all hikers of the dangers that come with winter excursions. He warned hikers of the dangers of hiking while underdressed in the White Mountains, a range often perceived as treacherous during winter
Sotelo, according to her parents, intended to trek numerous routes in the region, but she was unprepared for the bitterly cold weather that followed her departure.
Officials with the Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue Team stated on Sunday, at the start of their search, that the wind chill factor was -30 degrees Fahrenheit, with temperatures dropping to ‘around zero’
Tuesday afternoon, Fish and Game officials and volunteers from over a dozen search and rescue teams discovered a path and artifacts left by Sotelo near the headwaters of Lafayette Brook.
New Hampshire conservation officials said that search parties found the body of Sotelo, a 5’3″ sophomore at Vanderbilt University, at 11:15am. She was an avid hiker, had been close to her goal of conquering New Hampshire’s 48 peaks above 4,000 feet before turning 20
At midnight, however, officials converted their operations from a rescue campaign to a recovery mission.
At 11:15 a.m., search crews discovered the corpse of Sotelo, a 5’3″ sophomore at Vanderbilt University, according to conservation officials in New Hampshire. She was an ardent hiker who came close to achieving her goal of ascending New Hampshire’s 48 peaks above 4,000 feet before her 20th birthday.
Mount Lafayette reaches a 5,260 foot peak and its surround trail was rated ‘difficult’ by 4000Footers.com. It is situated in the state’s infamous White Mountains, a range commonly perceived as treacherous during winter
Mount Lafayette reaches a height of 5,260 feet, and 4000Footers.com graded the surrounding terrain as “tough.” It is situated in New Hampshire’s famed White Mountains, a mountain area often regarded as perilous in winter.
“Pemi has three teams searching for this missing hiker tonight,” the search team wrote on Facebook at the time.
Officials said on Wednesday that Sotelo, an ardent hiker, was close to achieving her goal of ascending New Hampshire’s 48 peaks above 4,000 feet before her 20th birthday.
However, they stressed that the kid was badly unprepared for the heavy snowfall and strong winds that swept over the region on Sunday.
“By Sunday evening, weather conditions included single-digit temperatures, winds of 40 to 60 miles per hour, and blowing snow, and she was not clothed appropriately for those circumstances,” Walsh told WMUR-TV on Wednesday.
These are harsh circumstances, and she went off-trail as a result.
Emily was last seen on Sunday morning when her mother took her off at a trailhead near Mount Lafayette, where her corpse was subsequently discovered.
In the winter, when temperatures plummet and snow accumulates, Mount Lafayette may become quite hazardous. To rescue Sotelo’s body, the state’s National Guard had to dispatch a chopper.
Mount Lafayette’s track earns a ‘tough’ rating from 4000Footers.com, even without the extreme temperatures and gusts, and reaches a maximum elevation of 5,260 feet.
During her hike, Sotelo successfully traveled a circle that included the peaks of Mount Lincoln and Little Haystack Mountain and spanned many kilometers.
However, the elements would finally catch up with her, and it is now unknown on what date she passed away.
Sotelo was a biochemistry and chemical biology majoring sophomore at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
Wednesday, Vice Provost G.L. Black lamented Sotelo in a letter to students, noting that she had become an engaged part of the community after transferring from William & Mary College this year.
Tuesday afternoon, Fish and Game officials and volunteers from over a dozen search and rescue teams discovered a path and artifacts left by Sotelo near the headwaters of Lafayette Brook. Additionally, fellow hikers contributed to the four-day effort.
He stated that the adolescent was a leader in an organization combating drug usage on the prestigious college.
Her parents, however, informed reporters that she was an experienced hiker but lacked winter trekking expertise.
Sotelo’s mother was the last person to see the adolescent before she embarked on her journey at 5:00 a.m. on Sunday. After not hearing from her by dusk, the girl’s relatives filed a missing person report.
The National Guard was promptly called in to help authorities and provided the lone helicopter used to recover the girl’s body.
Other hikers risked subzero conditions to aid with the search efforts.
Officials stated that Sotelo’s death should serve as a cautionary tale for all hikers about the hazards of winter expeditions.
It is now unclear if officials will conduct an autopsy.