ACADIA NAT’L PARK — A 67-year-old Connecticut man had to be rescued by technical climbers after he fell while hiking on the challenging Precipice Trail here Saturday morning.
According to rangers, Richard Cavalieri, of Niantic had climbed the Precipice on the east face of Champlain Mountain without incident. Signs at the trail head warn that it is not a hiking trail but rather “a non-technical climbing route.” It gains nearly 900 feet of elevation in less than a mile.
While descending a section featuring iron ladder rungs and narrow ledges about a half mile below the summit around 10:45 a.m., Cavalieri slipped on loose gravel and fell 15 feet. He sustained a head injury and possible broken ribs that made breathing difficult, according to reports.
Although Cavalieri was hiking alone, another hiker used a cell phone to call for help. Due to the remoteness of the location and the precipitous terrain, it took a ranger almost an hour to get to the injured man. Because of the extent of Cavalieri’s injuries, rangers called for assistance from the Bar Harbor Fire Department, as well as Mount Desert Island Search and Rescue. A LifeFlight helicopter ambulance also was dispatched and landed on open ledges near the summit.
Nearly three dozen rescuers were required to rig two technical hauling systems with climbing ropes to raise the litter carrying Cavalieri safely to the top of the mountain. Once there, it was a short carry to the waiting helicopter.
Cavalieri was loaded into LifeFlight and was on his way to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor around 4 p.m.