A HIKER’S haunting final message to his wife has been revealed after he died from severe hypothermia while facing 80 mph winds.
A “high-risk” rescue was underway on Saturday night, but attempts to revive hiker Xi Chen were unsuccessful.
Chen, 53, was found unresponsive and suffering from severe hypothermia on the Gulfside Trail, officials with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department said.
Video from the agency showed the grueling conditions rescuers faced while reaching the stranded hiker.
Officials tried to revive Chen before carrying him more than a mile up to the summit of Mount Washington, where he was then transported to an ambulance down at the base of the mountain.
He was later pronounced dead at Androscoggin Valley Hospital after medical professionals tried for several hours to save him.
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Officials said Chen had texted his wife, saying he was “cold and wet and could not continue on.”
“He further wrote that he felt he would die without a rescue,” officials said in a press release.
Chen’s wife then reached out to officials, who helped facilitate the rescue mission.
Officials with the Fish and Game Department had received a number of calls from hikers on Saturday due to treacherous weather conditions.
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In the high peaks of the range, rain was mixing with sleet and snow, all under freezing temperatures.
Chen was a resident of Andover, Massachusetts.
Officials said he was attempting a Presidential Range traverse when the severe weather overtook him.
The Presidential Traverse is located within the White Mountains and features some of New Hampshire’s highest peaks.
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The hike includes reaching the Madison peak, Adams peak, the Jefferson and Washington summits, and then mount Monroe, Eisenhower, Pierce, and Jackson.
The hike can generally be completed in two or three days with proper preparation and optimal weather conditions.