Champlain Mountain, far right, as seen from the Schooner Head Road in late November. ISLANDER PHOTO BY KATE COUGH

Hiker airlifted from Precipice Trail

ACADIA NATN’L PARK — A hiker attempting to climb the Precipice Trail on Wednesday instead spent four hours on the side of Champlain Mountain waiting for the Air National Guard to rescue him. Identified only as a 26-year-old male hiker from Belfast, the man set out from Schooner Head Road around 9 a.m. to begin the hike, according to Jay Elhard, Media Specialist with the Park Service, but at 11:02 a.m. called for help after becoming stuck on an icy vertical face unable to move either up or down. The Precipice is a rugged non-technical climb with open cliff faces and iron rungs. It was the first time to Acadia for this visitor and he did not have any type of crampons or traction control devices, said Elhard.

The hiker was able to wedge himself against a tree to avoid sliding down the face as he waited for help to arrive. Due to the hiker’s location and current conditions on the mountain, reaching him by foot was nearly impossible prompting a transfer of the mission to the Maine Air National Guard. The Air National Guard responded and conducted a hoist operation to evacuate the hiker at 2:45 p.m. He was flown to the Bar Harbor ballfield where he declined medical assistance.

Faith DeAmbrose

Managing Editor at Mount Desert Islander

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