‘In trouble’: Before his death in the White Mountains, an Andover hiker texted his wife

"He had so many plans ahead of him. Unfortunately this happened."

Xi Chen. Courtesy of Kaiwen Chen via The Boston Globe

Saturday evening, Lian Liu received an alarming text from her husband, an avid hiker from Andover who was attempting a “Presidential Traverse” in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

“In trouble…can’t move,” wrote Xi Chen, according to the text message exchange obtained by NECN.

Liu fired back a message asking if her husband, 53, needed her to call for help.

“Yes,” he wrote. “Could die.”

Chen was hiking near Mt. Clay when treacherous weather rolled in, creating conditions difficult for him to keep going, which eventually cost the father of three his life.

“There was accumulating snow, there was driving rain, there was freezing rain. It was iced,” Bob Mancini, of New Hampshire Fish and Game, told NECN.


Rescue crews were able to make it to Chen, but he was found unresponsive and experiencing severe hypothermia, on the Gulfside Trail.

Rescuers then carried him over a mile up to the Mt. Washington summit, where he was driven down the mountain’s auto road and brought to a hospital in Berlin, New Hampshire. Despite hours of life-saving efforts, Chen was unable to be revived.

“He had so many plans ahead of him,” Liu told NECN. “Unfortunately this happened.”

Liu told the news network Chen was an accomplished hiker who already had 19 of the state’s 4,000-foot-tall mountains under his belt.

“He’s not a quitter, that probably actually got him into trouble this time,” Liu said, getting emotional. “He loves his family. He loves his job, loves life.”

A GoFundMe campaign was launched to help support Chen’s family. As of Tuesday afternoon, the effort had raised over $21,000 of its $50,000 goal.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.