Where in Maine? Our Favorite Answer

Where in Maine, February 2022
Photograph by Benjamin Williamson

Old Speck Mountain

Each month, Down East editors select our favorite response to “Where in Maine?” Here is our favorite letter from February’s photo.

Over 30 years ago, a friend and I climbed Old Speck on New Year’s Eve. On the way down, I hit a patch of ice and slipped. I couldn’t stand back up. Luckily, a group of eight reached us. One of them took out a sleeping bag and I took off my boots and got inside while they improvised a stretcher out of pine limbs and a backpack. My friend, who decided to carry my boots for me, left with half the party to get help. We went 10 feet before it was clear that this mode of rescue was impractical. Plan B was for me to go down with my arms around the shoulders of two of my rescuers. The only problem was that my boots were already down the mountain. What I remember about the rest of the evening was the good humor of my rescuers and the full moon rising to illuminate our path. I don’t recall the discomfort of my broken leg, nor of my other leg as I hopped down the mountain in my socks. I have since learned much about climbing mountains in the winter and continue to do so, but no climb has been quite as memorable.

Glen Widmer, Montville, Maine