Danger on the Trail

HikeItForward-Final-MediumNot every hike ends happily on the top of Mount Katahdin with celebration and fulfillment. I was saddened to read of this incident this past July.

Geraldine Largay (trail name: Inchworm) started her section hike on the AT on April 23, 2013 at Harpers Ferry, W.Va. Her destination was Mount Katahdin, Maine. Inchworm made her home in Tennessee and was considered an experienced hiker with many miles on the trail. Inchworm, aptly named, is 5 feet, 5 inches tall, weighs 115 pounds, and has brown hair and brown eyes.

Her husband, George, was in regular contact with his wife along her journey and the two made consistent, predetermined stops to resupply her food. On the morning of July 21, 2013, Geraldine left her husband where the A.T. crosses State Route 4 at the Sandy River near the town of Rangeley, Maine (NOBO mile 1,965). Later that day, she texted him to report she was on top of Saddleback Mountain. Her plan was to stay at the Poplar Ridge Lean-to that evening (mile 1,976). Investigators confirmed, through interviews with other thru-hikers, that Largay did stay there as intended.

Largay Inchworm The following morning, according to authorities, she texted her husband and indicated she was again headed north. Her next stop would have been the Spaulding Mountain Lean-to (mile 1,984). Inchworm’s plan had been to meet her husband on July 23 at the Route 27 intersection with the AT (mile 1,997), but she never arrived.

George notified the Maine Warden Service of his wife’s disappearance early the following day, and officials started a search and investigation. The search, which included more than 100 people, tracking dogs, ground search teams, a helicopter, a fixed-wing aircraft, all-terrain vehicles and horses, was launched. When an intensive search came up empty, efforts were scaled back after Aug. 4. The searches did not locate any clothing nor backpacking equipment that belonged to the 66 year-old hiker. The search remains open, but the family announced it would hold a memorial service for her. My deepest sympathy goes out to the Largay family and the community of thru-hikers who knew her.

Information source: Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Photo: http://www.kjonline.com

Categories: Appalachian Trail, Backpack, Harpers Ferry, Hiking, Inchworm, Maine, Mount Katahdin, Thru-Hike, Trail | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Danger on the Trail

  1. janloyd

    Life is short! sobering…

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