Mar. 24—Conservation officers helped rescue a stranded hiker from Maine after he slid down the side of South Baldface Mountain in Chatham on Tuesday, losing a hiking shoe in the process.
About 9 p.m. Tuesday emergency dispatchers in Oxford County, Maine, just across the border from Chatham, received a call reporting a stranded hiker in the vicinity of South Baldface Mountain.
The hiker, identified as Marlin Conrad, 68, of North Yarmouth, Maine, was off the Baldface Circle trail between the summit of South Baldface and the shelter, officials said.
According to information from New Hampshire Fish and Game, Conrad had been hiking in three to four feet of snow when he fell, resulting in a long slide down a steep section of the exposed mountain.
During the fall he lost some of his equipment, including one of his hiking shoes, and was unable to move from his location because of deep snow and steep terrain. He called 911 for help.
Conservation officers departed the trailhead in Chatham around 11 p.m. They hiked 2.8 miles, arriving at Conrad's location at about 1:30 a.m.
They were able to locate him using a whistle, GPS and "calling out," officials said in a statement. "Conrad was in good spirits and only complaining of cold numb feet," NH Fish and Game Lt. Bradley Morse said in a statement.
Conrad was in a light sleeping bag with extra layers on to keep him warm, Morse reported. Conservation officers placed chemical heat pads inside insulated pack boots that they carried up, along with thick wool socks, and put them on Conrad's feet. Conrad was able to walk back down to the parking area, arriving at his vehicle at 3:46 a.m.
"It is important to note that winter conditions to include deep snow and ice are present in the mountains and likely to persist for the next several weeks," Morse said in a statement.
"Anyone venturing out should be equipped with micro-spikes, snowshoes and extra layers. Route finding can be difficult, especially if you find yourself on a less-used section of trail. Although cell phone mapping applications can be useful they are not a substitute for a map, compass and hand-held GPS unit."