Conservation Officer Levi Frye
August 13, 2020
Low and Burbank’s Grant, NH – On Wednesday, August 12, at approximately 2:45 p.m., Fish and Game Conservation Officers received a call for an injured hiker on the Castle Ravine Trail in Low and Burbank’s Grant. Officers spoke with the hiker over cell phone and he identified him as 36-year-old Christopher Burk of Lutherville, MD.
Burk explained that he and his party were attempting to complete the Presidential Traverse when a member of his group began experiencing high levels of fatigue. As a result, Burk assisted his fatigued partner by descending Castle Ravine Trail in an attempt to get back to the road faster.
On this decent, Burk was carrying his friend’s pack, as well as his own, to make it easier on his partner. The excess weight of the extra pack caused Burk to lose his balance and slip on a rock, injuring his lower leg so badly he couldn’t walk out or put weight on it. Burk reported that he had, “heard a crack, and knew he couldn’t continue.” A 911 call was placed by the victim.
After plotting his location, Conservation Officers found that Burk and his hiking partner were approximately .25 miles below the mountain ridgeline and approximately 4 miles from Route 2.
Due to the location of the patient and the difficulty of the trail he was on, Conservation Officers determined that it would be safer for rescuers to call for a National Guard helicopter than to attempt the 8-10-hour carryout with 30-50 volunteers that would otherwise be required.
The National Guard rescue helicopter made contact with Burk and his hiking companion around 6:20 p.m. They were hoisted into the helicopter and brought to the Gorham Airport where they were met by Conservation Officers as well as Gorham Fire Department and Gorham Ambulance members.
Burk was transported to Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin by Gorham Ambulance for further treatment of his injuries.
The hiking party was well prepared for the hike as they had brought with them a multiple-day supply of clothing and food as well as the necessary “10 Essentials.”