EUSTIS — It may be spring, but there is still snow, ice and colder temperatures in higher elevations, and game wardens warn those hiking, camping and recreating on a mountain this time of year to be prepared for those conditions.

Last Wednesday morning, Colby Thayer, 26, of Farmingdale and Larry-Michael Farrington, 26, of Gardiner reported being in distress at the Horns Pond Lean-to on the Appalachian Trail on Bigelow Mountain, according Game Warden Sgt. Scott Thrasher’s information. The men had hiked up Bigelow Mountain without snowshoes and stayed overnight. When they awoke in the morning, their boots were frozen and they were concerned they could not make it down the mountain.

“The hikers were ill-prepared for the conditions in the western Maine mountains this time of year,” Thrasher wrote. “There is still 7 feet of snow at the higher elevations. The hikers did not have some of the proper clothing such as wool socks, but had cotton socks and cotton sweatpants, which hold moisture.

Thrasher directed the men to do what they could to warm up and start down Horn’s Pond Trail to the Fire Warden’s Trail  to meet rescuers. They did and were met by Game Warden Garrett Moody and Eustis Fire Rescue Department member Connor Dolan who had snowmobiled to within half a mile of them and snowshoed to their location.

The hikers were given snowshoes when they met Moody and Connor and rode out on the snowmobiles to their vehicle parked on state Route 27. They did not need medical attention.

“Only those with the experience and the proper clothing and gear should attempt winter hiking,” Thrasher wrote.

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