ACADIA NATIONAL PARK — A hiker attempting to climb the Precipice Trail on Wednesday instead spent four hours on the side of Champlain Mountain waiting for the Air National Guard to rescue him.

Identified only as a 26-year-old male hiker from Belfast, the man set out from Schooner Head Road around 9 a.m. to begin the hike, according to Jay Elhard, Media Specialist with the Park Service. At 11:02 a.m., he called for help after becoming stuck on an icy, vertical face. The Precipice is a rugged non-technical climb with open cliff faces and iron rungs. It was the first time to Acadia for this visitor and he did not have any type of crampons or traction control devices, said Elhard.

Champlain Mountain as seen from the Schooner Head Road in late November. Islander photo by Kate Cough

The hiker was able to wedge himself against a tree to avoid sliding down the face as he waited for help to arrive.

The conditions would’ve made for a difficult technical rescue by rangers, so a Maine National Guard helicopter assisted. The man was airlifted to a nearby ballfield where he declined medical treatment.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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