Autopsy done on hiker's frozen body

Timothy Hallock's body was found on the Castle Ravine Trail on Sunday. (COURTESY PHOTO)

By Barbara Tetreault


THOMPSON AND MESERVE'S PURCHASE — Professional trail guide Timothy Hallock died of hypothermia according to the N.H. Medical Examiner’s office. Hallock was hiking alone and without identification when his body was found on the Castle Ravine Trail in the Presidential Range of the White Mountains on An autopsy was performed Tuesday at the N.H. Medical Examiner’s office in Concord to determine the cause of death.


Foul play was not suspected.


Hallock, 54, was the founder of Northeast Mountain Guides in Orient, N.Y., and also served as president of the New York State Outdoor Guides Association.


The service’s Web page reported his trail name was “Yeti” and said Hallock had spent years scouting the mountain ranges of the Northeast to bring his clients the finest hikes, treks, and climbs.


The site describes a life spent hiking and on water.


Hallock was a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y., and had been licensed as a ship's officer. He logged more than a million miles at sea before discovering the allure of mountains in 1998.


According to a release from N.H. Fish and Game, a pair of hikers discovered Hallock’s body lying on the Castle Ravine Trail close to the tree line between Mount Adams and Mount Jefferson in Coos County, at about 8:45 a.m. Sunday.


The Union Leader newspaper identified the two hikers as Christopher Shane of Brighton, Mass., and his cousin Jamison Knowlton.


After attempting unsuccessfully to make a 911 cellphone call for help, they continued down the Castle Ravine Trail until about a mile from the trailhead, where they met a hiker headed up the trail. The pair used the third hiker’s cellphone to call 911 at 11:22 a.m.


A rescue team made up of Fish and Game and U.S. Forest Service members, and volunteers from Androscoggin Search, and Rescue, Mountain Rescue Service, and Pemi Search and Rescue, responded to assist in the recovery.


After talking to Shane and Knowlton, Fish and Game put together a plan that divided the rescuers into two teams with a Fish and Game officer on each team. The teams took different routes to the scene. One team went up the Lowes Path to the Randolph Path that crossed the ridge to the Castle Ravine Trail. The other team took a Sno-Cat up Mount Washington and crossed the ridgeline approximately 5 miles to the Castle Ravine Trail. Both teams arrived at the Castle Trail at about 6 p.m. It was dark and because the location given was not precise, it took a while to find Hallock’s body.


After consulting with a medical examiner and finding nothing suspicious, the rescuers started moving the body down the mountain because it was impossible to go up the way they had come. Other search and rescue teams hiking up to assist had to be diverted over very rugged terrain. The lack of snow prevented the use of a toboggan and rescuers had to carry the body out, which took until approximately 2:30 a.m.


Bryant Funeral Home in Berlin met the team and transported the body to its facility.


Fish and Game said Hallock had no identification on him, making it challenging for authorities to locate his relatives.


U.S. Forest Service law enforcement worked on investigating his identity while the recovery was in progress. Eventually, the Peconic, N.Y., police department found Hallock’s next of kin at about 9 a.m. Monday.

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