Police & Fire

Two hikers safely rescued off Mount Katahdin

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BAXTER STATE PARK — Two Pennsylvania men in their 50s were rescued off the southeast side of the Knife Edge below Pamola Peak on Mount Katahdin through the coordination of Mahoosuc Volunteer Search and Rescue, Baxter State Park rangers and the Maine Forest Service on Saturday, June 22. Both men suffered no injuries and walked down the Helon Taylor trail to safety by 1:30 that morning.

Concerned about approaching a minor peak on the trail during strong winds and gathering storms, the pair set down off the trail about 1,000 feet before becoming stranded. They called 911 and park rangers took incident command. A Maine Forest Service helicopter attempted to get close enough for a short haul but could not due to the winds and dropped a backpack with overnight gear for the two.

Shortly after, a volunteer from Mahoosuc Search and Rescue found the hikers and coached them through a climb back up to the Knife Edge trail. They approached tree line and encountered a park ranger as they started down the Helon Taylor trail, arriving at their vehicle at Roaring Brook campground at 1:30 a.m.

Weather can change quickly on Maine’s highest peak and visitors should be prepared. Gov. Baxter’s vision for this wilderness park means that rescue can be several hours away. “It is your responsibility to minimize hazards by using good judgment — sometimes that means staying on the trail,” Park Director Eben Sypitkowski said.

Sypitkowski praised the cooperative effort between Chris Hayward of Mahoosuc Search and Rescue, Park Enforcement Ranger Rob Tice and Dean Levasseur and Campground Ranger Charley Tisch and Pilot John Crowley of the Maine Forest Service in the efficient coordination of efforts to complete a successful rescue.

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