One of two men rescued late Tuesday speaks with game wardens inside a lean-to on Spaulding Mountain. Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife

MOUNT ABRAM TOWNSHIP — The Maine Warden Service rescued a pair of hikers Tuesday night on the Appalachian Trail.

In a news release, wardens describe the New York men as “unprepared for hiking in Maine in the winter.”

Wardens said Jacob Haisley, 36, of Red Hook, New York, and Wayne Gage, 70, of Schenectady, New York, were planning to hike a 15-mile portion of the Appalachian trail that included Mount Abraham, Spaulding Mountain and Sugarloaf Mountain.

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

Wardens said the men began their hike at about 8 a.m. Tuesday, and were quickly slowed by the deep snow, and only made it halfway through their hike once darkness came.

They found shelter at the Spaulding Mountain lean-to, according to a Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife news release, but did not have food, water or the proper equipment to spend the night. Temperatures dropped into the single digits, and as they got colder, the men decided they could not hike out. The men called 911 at approximately 5:45 p.m., wardens said.

“Game wardens were able speak to Haisley on the phone, and advised him to stay at the lean-to and start a fire,” according to the release. “Three game wardens ascended much of Spaulding Mountain by snowmobile, then snowshoed over 3/4 of a mile to near the summit of Spaulding Mountain where the hikers were stranded. After a quick examination, it was determined they could hike out, and the game wardens and stranded hikers snowshoed back to the snowmobiles, and descended the mountain by snowmobile, arriving at the base at approximately 1 a.m. this morning.”

Wardens said neither hiker required medical attention.

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