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Environment and Outdoors

Baxter Officials: Two Mount Katahdin Hiker Deaths In Two Days

Andrew Catalina
Maine Public file
Mount Katahdin's Baxter Peak, as seen from Pamola Peak in Sept. 2016.

The body of a young male hiker was found at the summit of Mount Katahdin around 10 a.m. Thursday.

Baxter State Park Director Eben Sypitkowski says a National Guard helicopter flew the body from Baxter Peak, and he was then brought to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Augusta. The name of the man has not yet been disclosed.

It was the sixth time a National Guard helicopter has rescued or recovered hikers this year, and the third time this week. A 13-year-old was airlifted on Sunday. On Wednesday, two lost hikers who were stranded on Katahdin overnight were airlifted, one of whom later died.

Sypitkowski says typically, a helicopter is sent only one or two times a year. He’s urging visitors to Baxter to take precautions.

“Not overextending yourself and remembering that going down is neither easier nor faster than going up,” he says. “It often surprises people with how difficult a hike it is. Especially this time of year when daylight is getting low and the weather can turn on a dime and get very bad very quickly.”

Sypitkowski urges hikers to carry enough food, water, and clothing, and to pick a turn around time and stick to it.