Monday, July 17, 2017


 posted July 29, 2012

Three dozen rescue workers and the crew of a Lifeflight helicopter that was forced to land on a mountain ledge spent more than five hours Saturday trying to save the life of a University of Maine student.
Despite their heroic efforts, 22-year-old Shirley Ladd of Barnstead, N.H., died from injuries she sustained after falling on a trail on Champlain Mountain in Acadia National Park.
Rescuers use climbing equipment to haul an injured hiker 250 feet up Champlain Mountain in Acadia National Park on Saturday. Shirley Ladd, a student at UMaine, later died of her injuries. She was remembered for her outgoing personality. Photos courtesy National Park Service
A helicopter from LifeFlight of Maine landed on a sloped, open ledge on Champlain Mountain in Acadia National Park in order to evacuate an injured hiker Saturday. Photo by Jon Tierney
Personnel from the National Park Service, Mount Desert Island Search and Rescue, LifeFlight Of Maine and Acadia Mountain Guides assist in rescuing and giving medical care to Shirley Ladd, who was critically injured Saturday while hiking in Acadia National Park. Photo by B. Watson/Courtesy of Jon Tierney

Ropes are visible as rescuers attend Shirley Ladd, a New Hampshire woman who fell 60 feet while hiking a difficult trail in Acadia National Park on Saturday.
University officials identified Ladd on Sunday as a senior at the university’s Orono campus where she was majoring in psychology. She was minoring in business administration. Ladd was most recently employed as a student building manager at the university’s New Balance Student Recreation Center.
“Our thoughts are with her family, friends and the many people on campus who knew and loved her, and whose lives she touched,” said Robert Dana, UMaine’s vice president for student affairs and dean of students, in a statement released Sunday to the university community. “As one of our student managers at the Fitness Center, she was well known for her outgoing personality and customer service. She was always ready with a smile. Shirley was a strong leader among her peers. She will be missed by so many in our community.”
A close friend said Ladd had travelled to Bar Harbor last weekend to visit her boyfriend, a recent university graduate.

Her boyfriend was at work when she decided to go hiking with another friend on the Precipice Trail, which leads to the summit of Champlain Mountain.
“Shirley was one of the most caring people I have ever met. And she was so much fun. She made work enjoyable,” said her friend, Kaci Stormann, who worked with Ladd at the New Balance Student Recreation Center.
Those familiar with the hiking trails at Acadia say the Precipice Trail is the most challenging trail in the park because hikers must hang onto steel ladder rungs in some parts of the trail.
Advertisement “If you took away the rungs, it’s what I would call a fourth class climb or a technical climb (for experienced rock climbers),” said Jon Tierney, who owns Acadia Mountain Guides in Bar Harbor.

Murray alerted the park service that Ladd had sustained severe injuries, which triggered a massive rescue effort.
Rechholtz said Ladd had just finished climbing a laddered section of the Precipice Trail and was preparing to ascend another section of ladder rungs when she fell from a rock shelf onto the trail below.
Advertisement She landed near another hiker, almost hitting the hiker, Rechholtz said.
Multiple agencies responded including all of Acadia’s on- and off-duty park rangers, members of the Bar Harbor Fire Department, Mount Desert Island Search and Rescue, a crew of medics from Lifeflight of Maine, and the privately owned Acadia Mountain Guides.
“It was one huge effort. The park rangers could not have done this by ourselves,” Rechholtz said.
The rescuers faced a number of physical obstacles.

The Precipice Trail, which is typically closed to protect peregrine falcon nesting sites, is extremely steep. It opened this summer for the first time in several years after the falcon nesting effort failed.
Champlain Mountain itself is just over 1,000 feet. Ladd had completed about three quarters of the trail when she fell, which forced rescue workers to do a lot of climbing before they could reach her.
Though the skies were clear and sunny, the humidity on Saturday was oppressive, rescue workers said.
“One of the biggest decisions we had to make was whether to move her up the mountain or go down,” Tierney said. “Going up is more difficult (more strenuous) but you are going away from harm’s way.”

The Precipice - Deaths In Acadia National Park

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