Manhattan Woman’s President’s Day Hike Goes Terribly Wrong


Alicia Burrows, Contributor

NEW HAMPSHIRE — The Sunday before President’s Day –February 15th– 32 year old mountain climber, Kate Matrosova, attempted to hike a group of the Appalachian Mountains in New Hampshire. In light of the upcoming holiday, she sought out to climb Mount Washington, Mount Madison, Mount Adams, and Mount Jefferson, each named after the US Founding Fathers. At five A.M., her husband dropped her off at the foot of the mountains and she began her journey alone.


Kate Matrosova climbed for a good portion of the day, despite of the -6 degree Fahrenheit temperature and 40 mph wind speeds. Due to the awful weather conditions, taking this climb was a risky move. A sign posted before the trail read “Try this trail only if you are in top physical condition, well clothed and carrying extra clothing and food. Many have died above timberline from exposure. Turn back at the first sign of bad weather” (Boston Globe).

While this sign served as a prevision of how the hike might go, Matrosova was determined to climb because of her undying passion for it. But, the temperature soon fell to -30 degrees Fahrenheit and the wind speeds picked up to 100 mph. This was a sure sign of danger. According to Sergeant Mark Ober, who was involved in the search for Matrosova, “Nobody attempts that at this time of year, in those conditions. Certainly [not] alone.” (Boston Globe)

At around 3:30 the emergency beacon went off, letting the park rangers know that Matrosova was in trouble and giving them the coordinates of her location. Many climbers, including the Mountain Rescue Service, set out to save her. However, there was a glitch in the system and the beacons were sounding all over the place. The climbers couldn’t find Matrosova, and because it was one of the coldest nights of the year, they had to turn back.

Early the next morning, a crew of 25 members was sent out to find her, and finally they did. Sadly, she wouldn’t move. Kate Matrosova was found frozen to death between Mount Madison and Mount Adams 23 hours after the first emergency beacon had gone off. Park employee Mike Pelchat said, “It looked like…A big gust of wind picked her up and blew her off the trail” (Boston Globe). Unfortunately, Matrosova’s last climb had been an unsuccessful one.

Image courtesy of New York Post