That’s up to NH Fish & Game to make the recommendation. I don’t know. I’ve been told 2nd hand that he ditched his pack full of gear as it was "to hard to move through the Krumholtz." Also he was checked out and had no injuries, not even frostbite, and that he was planning on walking down the trail under his own power.
This is 2nd hand info and not verified, but it leaves me wondering why he wasn’t out of the woods before 2pm since he was mobile... he had to hike up a short distance back to the ridge where the helicopter could easily get him... I know if I was cold I would never stop moving towards safety once it was light out...
I can only assume there is something here I don’t know, and probably won’t ever find out. That is the case with many of these types of rescues I find. Probably better to stick to the old military saying;
“Our job is not to ask why but to do and die”.
There is another side to the whole “charging for rescue” argument. In the very recent past I was a supporter of charging folks for rescues when they were caused by reckless conduct or blatant unpreparedness. Hearing some of the more senior MRS members, guys with HUNDREDS of rescues spanning decades, opinions on the matter, which were completely against my initial thoughts has swayed me the other way. The basic argument is this...
If we charge for rescues people who actually should call for one will delay calling for fear of being charged. Hours later, when they realize it truly is life or limb they will decide the price of a rescue is worth not dying. Now, MRS and other S&R groups will rally many hours later than they would have, and attempt to carry out a more dangerous rescue at night or in worsening avalanche conditions. It really is a dilemma.
One one hand charging folks for rescues might prevent some people from being idiots.
One the other hand it also might prevent people who just had an unexpected emergency call, until later, putting rescuers at more risk.
I don’t know the answer, other than maybe we should all re-read FoTH.