Firefighters rescue hikers at state park

February 25, 2007|By Melissa Harris

Carroll County firefighters rescued two hikers stuck on an ice-covered hillside in the McKeldin Area of Patapsco Valley State Park yesterday, said Sgt. Bill Rehkopf of the Sykesville Freedom District Fire Department.

The two men in their mid-40s had been hiking on a trail that runs along the river.

As they encountered icy conditions, the men worried that they would slip on the sloped ice and fall into the river, Rehkopf said.

The men climbed up the steep hillside to the parking lot by grabbing onto trees.

About 5:45 p.m., with about 100 yards and the steepest part of the hillside to go, Rehkopf said that the men ran out of trees and called 911 from a cell phone.

The pilot of a state police helicopter pointed a search light onto the men as members of the Carroll County rescue team shimmied down the hill using harnesses and ropes.

It took two hours to pull the men to safety, Rehkopf said.

"It's a very steep area that doesn't get a lot of sunshine," he said.

Firefighters declined to release the names of the hikers, who were not injured.

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