Game wardens rescued two New York men from Spaulding Mountain on Tuesday, saying the hikers weren’t prepared for winter conditions in northwestern Maine.

Game wardens led Jacob Haisley, 36, of Red Hook and Wayne Gage, 70, of Schenectady off the mountain early Tuesday night, the Maine Warden Service said in a news release Wednesday.

Rescuers from the Maine Warden Service reached the stranded hikers near the summit of Spaulding Mountain on Tuesday night. Photo courtesy Maine Warden Service

The two set out around 8 a.m. on Tuesday, planning to cover a 15-mile portion of the Appalachian Trail, including Mount Abraham, Spaulding Mountain and Sugarloaf Mountain, the warden service said. But the pair were slowed by deep snow and had made it only about halfway through their intended hike when the sun set.

Haisley and Gage found shelter at the Spaulding Mountain lean-to, but lacked food, water and proper equipment, game wardens said. After temperatures dropped to the single digits, the two called 911 at about 5:45 p.m.

Game wardens advised Haisley to stay at the lean-to and start a fire, and three game wardens went up the mountain on snowmobile, then snowshoed about a mile to reach the two.

The wardens determined that the two could hike out and they all snowshoed to the snowmobiles. They descended the mountain on snowmobile, arriving at the base about 1 a.m. Officials said neither Haisley nor Gage needed medical attention.

“Poor planning, coupled with poor decisions, stranded these hikers in very dangerous conditions,” Game Warden Kyle Hladik said. “They were very fortunate we were able to get to them quickly.”


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