Maine forest rangers recently had to use a helicopter twice in three days to help hikers on Mount Katahdin.
In both incidents, the hikers had to spend at least one unplanned night on the mountain.
On Saturday, two hikers were caught in gusty, erratic winds on the Knife Edge Trail, an intimidating, narrow trail with steep drop-offs.
Forest rangers using a helicopter attempted to rescue the hikers, but the winds prevented a rescue. Instead, rangers lowered gear – including a tent, food, water and medical kit – to the hikers, who sheltered just below the trail.
The hikers spent Saturday night on the mountain, and made it down uninjured the next day.
Also on Saturday, a hiker was injured after falling more than 10 feet down the steep, technical Cathedral Trail.
The injured hiker and his companion spent Saturday night on the trail. On Sunday morning, they told a passing hiker about their situation. The hiker relayed the message to rangers, and later that afternoon a ranger and volunteers from Mahoosuc Search and Rescue met up with the hikers.
The rescue crew and hikers were able to make it down a portion of the Hamlin Ridge Trail, but because of their slow progress they were forced to spend Sunday night on the mountain.
On Monday morning, the Maine Forest Service sent a helicopter to pick up the hikers and take them to Caribou Pit in the southern section of the park. There, the injured hiker was treated for dehydration and then flown to a nearby hospital for treatment.