Hiker airlifted off Mount Katahdin
BAXTER STATE PARK — A 61-year-old man from Utah was airlifted off the Hamlin Ridge trail on Mount Katahdin early Monday morning, June 24 after a long struggle to descend to Chimney Pond. He suffered injuries from a 10- to 15-foot fall on the Cathedral trail on the afternoon of Saturday, June 22.
The man and his hiking companion spent the night on the tableland Saturday. A Baxter State Park ranger and volunteers with Mahoosuc Search and Research engaged with the party Sunday afternoon after the the pair sent word by a fellow hiker down to Chimney Pond around 10:30 a.m. The rescue crew hiked them down a portion of the Hamlin Ridge trail, but were forced to spend Sunday night there due to slow progress.
Early Monday morning the Maine Forest Service deployed its helicopter to the scene and performed a short haul with the patient to Caribou Pit at the southern end of the park. There Bion Sanborn, a medic from the Old Town Fire Department, administered treatment for dehydration and the Maine Forest Service team flew the patient to Millinocket Regional Hospital.
Maine’s tallest mountain contains some very difficult terrain. “This mountain is as rugged as any. Do not underestimate the mountain and do not overestimate your own skill and preparedness,” said Baxter State Park Director Eben Sypitkowski.
Sypitkowski praised the cooperative effort between park rangers Russ Porter and Bruce White, campground ranger Jen Sinsabaugh, Chris Hayward and Toshio Hashimoto of Mahoosuc Search and Rescue, Pilot Chris Blackie and rangers Tom Liba and Justin Carney of the Maine Forest Service and Sanborn in the efficient coordination of a successful rescue.