American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall off Trail/Rock, Maine, Baxter State Park

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1986


Maine, Baxter State Park

On May 25, 1985, Dennis Crouse (38) and a Post 507 Explorer Scouts group had hiked up the Melon Taylor Trail to Pannola and then proceeded to Chimney Peak. While coming off the southwest side of the peak, Crouse stepped aside to let someone by, and in so doing, the ice ax strapped to his day pack caught on a rock and threw him off balance. He did a complete 360 degree turn and fell head over heels before landing on his buttocks. He had fallen about 12 meters and continued to tumble until he finally came to rest in some scrub.

The accident was reported to me about 1440 by one of the Explorer hikers. The rescue party and I reached Crouse by 1715. An EMT, Wai Lee, was with Crouse, who was 30 meters off the trail. We put the victim in a traction splint, did a further survey, and made him as comfortable as possible without further aggravating the state of shock he was in. We littered him to the Knife Edge by 2000. Med-Evac hoisted the victim into a helicopter and proceeded to Millinocket. (Source: Esther Hendrickson, CRI Pond, Baxter State Park)

(Editor’s Note: This is a case where courtesy on a difficult hiking trail turned into a mountain rescue operation. Baxter State Personnel have had to increase their skills in rescue and emergency medicine to cope with a great variety of problems. Among others last summer, there included (a) a technical evacuation of a father and son who had decided to spend part ofa day going down a rock/water slide, which resulted in a fatality for the father and severe cuts and bruises for the son; and (b) a mother giving her child calamine lotion thinking it was Kaopectate.)

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