Joseph Eggleston, 53, and his wife had the "essential equipment," including traction devices, needed for a hike up Mount Willard.
The view from Mount Willard in Crawford Notch State Park in New Hampshire. Credit: Aislinn Sarnacki / BDN

HART’S LOCATION, New Hampshire — A hiker who fell 300 feet to his death after tumbling from a cliff on the summit of Mount Willard in Crawford Notch had essential equipment, including traction devices on his boots for the frozen and icy trail, officials said.

The hiker, 53-year-old Joseph Eggleston of Randolph, New Hampshire, and his wife were snapping photos late Saturday morning before she heard him call out. She turned to see him falling over the edge of the cliff, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department said.

Eggleston and his wife have been longtime residents of the state and frequent hikers, the department said Monday.

“They were well prepared for the trail and weather conditions on Saturday,” the department said, adding, “They were equipped with the essential equipment to include traction devices on their boots” for the trail.

Mountain Rescue Service technicians had to rappel in icy conditions to retrieve Eggleston from the face of the cliff, and it took hours to move him to the trailhead parking lot, officials said.

With an elevation of about 2,865 feet, Mount Willard is in the center of Crawford Notch, and its summit provides a commanding view of the region.