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Contact: Jay Elhard, 207 288-8807
A 26-year-old man from Belfast, Maine was flown by helicopter off an icy vertical face of the Precipice Trail on March 3. The Precipice is a rugged non-technical climb in good weather conditions with open cliff faces and iron rungs. It was the first time to Acadia for this visitor, who did not have any type of crampons or traction control devices.
While the hiker suffered minor injuries after slipping and wedging himself against a tree to avoid sliding down the cliff face, he declined further medical assistance after he was transported safely to a landing zone on nearby ballfields in Bar Harbor by an Army National Guard helicopter.
All trails in Acadia are incredibly icy at this time due to recent rains followed by days of cold weather. Hikers should be prepared for cold and icy conditions with extra layers of clothing and traction control devices.
At 11:02 am, Acadia Dispatch received a call by cellphone from the man, who had started his hike about 9 am from Schooner Head Road. Rangers responded and confirmed that the man was stuck on an icy vertical face and wasn’t able to move up or down. Due to his location and risks to the hiker and rescuers for an extended technical operation in icy terrain, rescuers requested assistance for an aviation mission.
Maine Forest Service was contacted through the State Police Regional Communications Center to conduct a short-haul operation and they transferred the mission to the Army National Guard. The National Guard responded and conducted a hoist operation to evacuate the hiker at 2:45 pm.
We owe a big thank you to our partners as it took a coordinated effort to assist this individual back to safety from NPS law enforcement rangers, MDI Search & Rescue, Maine State Police, Maine Forest Service, Army National Guard and Bar Harbor Fire Department.
Last updated: March 4, 2021