Low and Burbanks Grant- On Wednesday. August 12th at approximately 2:45 PM, Fish and Game Conservation Officers received a call for an injured hiker on the Castle Ravine Trail in Low and Burbanks Grant. Officers spoke with the patient over cell phone and identified him as 36 year old Christopher Burk of Lutherville, MD.
Burk explained that he and his party were attempting to complete the Presidential Traverse when a member of his party began experiencing high levels of fatigue. Due to this issue, Burk assisted the fatigued partner by descending Castle Ravine Trail in an attempt to get back to the road faster.
On this decent, Burk was carrying his friend’s pack, as well as his own, to make it easier on his friend. The excess weight of the extra pack caused Burk to lose his balance and slip on a rock, injuring his lower leg so badly he couldn’t walk out or put weight on it. Burk reported that he, “heard a crack, and knew he couldn’t continue.” A 911 call was placed by the victim.
After plotting his location, Conservation Officers found that Burk and his hiking partner were approximately a quarter mile below the mountain ridgeline and approximately 4 miles from Route 2.
Due to the location of the patient as well as the sheer difficulty of the trail he was on, Conservation Officers deemed that it would be safer for rescuers to call for a National Guard helicopter than to attempt the 8-10 hour carryout with 30 to 50 volunteers that would otherwise be required.
The National Guard rescue helicopter made contact with Burk and his hiking companion around 6:20 PM. They were hoisted into the helicopter and brought down to the Gorham Airport where they were met by Conservation Officers as well as Gorham Fire Department and Gorham Ambulance members.
Burk was transported to Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin by Gorham Ambulance for further treatment of his injuries.
The hiking party was well prepared for the hike as they had brought many days supply of clothing and food as well as the necessary “10 Essentials.”
It was determined that in helping a member of his party down the mountain who was not fully physically prepared for the rigors of the Presidential Traverse hike, Burk injured himself.
No further information at this time.
Source: NH Fish & Game Press Release