Facebook - Erik Bertrand

Jul 13, 2017 1:02 PM

Hikers call for help on 'most difficult regular hiking trail in the White Mountains'

SARGENT'S PURCHASE — A family became stranded on what is considered by the AMC trail guide to be "the most difficult regular hiking trail in the White Mountains."

Fish and Game said Christopher Belles, 31, of Pittston, Pennsylvania, and his mother Mary Ann Maxfield, 54, of Dallas, Pennsylvania, along with her two young kids ages 10 and 12, attempted to hike up the Huntington Ravine Trail on Wednesday afternoon.

Belles had hiked the trail in the past and hoped that he would be able to guide the others through the difficult trail.

The group reached a point where they found it unsafe to continue in either direction and called for 911 for help.

Signs were recently posted on the top and bottom of the trail that warns hikers of the difficult and dangerous trail. The signs were placed in response to a number of incidents over the years where inexperienced hikers would become stranded on the trail and need to be assisted off.

The four saw the signs and decided to continue anyway.

Three Fish and Game officials and a member of the Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue team initiated a rescue effort at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday night. They arrived at the trail via the Mount Washington Auto Road around 8 p.m and received another call the hikers who said they had made it to the top of the ravine and no longer needed help.

Due to the quickly approaching darkness, the responding crews continued to the hikers to make certain that they made it off the mountain safely.

The hikers were driven off of the mountain.

None of the hikers or members of the rescuers were injured.

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