68-year-old hiker spends night on Katahdin trail after becoming exhausted

Posted June 24, 2012, at 3:59 p.m.

BAXTER STATE PARK, Maine — A hiker who became exhausted while descending a steep and rocky ridge of Mount Katahdin on Saturday night was assisted by a search and rescue team Sunday morning.

Chet Rubackis, 68, of Winter Harbor was coming down Hunt Trail in Baxter State Park late Saturday when he became tired, according to a press release issued by Baxter State Park Director Jensen Bissell.

Rubackis’ hiking companion notified the on-duty ranger at Katahdin Stream Campground early Sunday morning.

Park staff assembled a search team and hiked to Rubackis at about 8:30 a.m.

Rubackis was located at an elevation of 3,600 feet, approximately three miles from Park Tote Road at Katahdin Stream Campground, the release stated.

After assessing Rubackis’ condition, a litter team began the evacuation at about 12:30 p.m.

Details of Rubackis’ condition were not immediately available.

The evacuation team included over 40 rescuers from groups including Baxter Park Rangers, Maine Forest Service and Maine Game Wardens, as well as Mount Desert Island, Lincoln, Wilderness and Mahoosic Search and Rescue teams.

The evacuation in the steep and rugged terrain required technical use of ropes in some areas and is expected to be completed later Sunday or early Monday, according to the release.

Baxter State Park officials said safety is the responsibility of hikers and to be prepared for their trip.

A Katahdin hike is one of the most strenuous day hikes in New England, according to park officials.

People with medical concerns, or who aren’t physically active, are encouraged to prepare carefully for a Katahdin hike.

For hiking information, call 731-5140 or visit www.baxterstateparkauthority.com.

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