Hiker breaks ankle in Acadia National Park

Rescue personnel transport an injured hiker up a trail to the top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park on Sunday.
Acadia National Park
Rescue personnel transport an injured hiker up a trail to the top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park on Sunday.
By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff
Posted May 20, 2013, at 2:10 p.m.

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, Maine — A Canadian woman had to be carried out of the park Sunday evening after suffering a compound fracture in her right ankle while hiking on Cadillac Mountain, according to park personnel.

Ranger Richard Rechholtz, who was involved in the rescue effort, said it took more than three hours to carry the injured hiker to a waiting ambulance at the summit of Cadillac Mountain.

In keeping with park policy, Rechholtz declined to identify the injured hiker. He said she is 48 years old and from New Brunswick.

The accident occurred around 3:30 p.m. while the woman was hiking with her husband on the Canon Brook Trail, which runs east from the mountain’s South Ridge Trail and then curves north around the base of Dorr Mountain, according to Rechholtz. He said rangers were not notified about the injury until about an hour after it happened because the hiker’s husband had difficulty getting cellphone reception.

Rescue personnel went to the scene and, when they found the woman, they decided it would be easier to carry her to the top of the mountain then down the lower section of trail, which can be steep at points and crosses over a stream, Rechholtz said. If they had carried her down the trail, as opposed to the parking lot at the top of Cadillac, they would have had to use ropes in some sections, he added.

Eighteen people, including park staff and members of Mount Desert Island Search and Rescue, assisted in the effort, Rechholtz said. By the time they got the woman to an ambulance waiting at the top of the mountain, it was 8 p.m. It was foggy, chilly and getting dark when they reached the summit, he said.

Rechholtz said she was taken by ambulance to MDI Hospital in Bar Harbor but that he did not know of her condition or location on Monday.

The ranger estimated that rescuers transported the woman — passing the litter from hand to hand in some steep spots but rolling it like a wheelbarrow where the trail was open and relatively flat near the top — for a mile and a half.

Many of Acadia’s trails are relatively close to roads or carriage paths, he said, but the section of Canon Brook Trail where the hiker was injured is fairly remote. As a result, it took longer to carry her to the nearest point where an ambulance could wait.

“We don’t normally have long carry-outs,” Rechholtz said. “It just takes time.”

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/05/20/news/hancock/hiker-breaks-ankle-in-acadia-national-park/ printed on July 30, 2014