AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) - It's one of the steepest points in Mt. Holyoke Range State Park. The M&M trail leads hikers to the very top of Bare Mountain, and it's not easy to maneuver once you get up there.
Becky Garriss goes on frequent hikes and runs at the park and has firsthand knowledge of the conditions. "Once you get toward the top, the trail does narrow quite a bit where it's only a one lane pass by," Garriss said.
That is where 22-year old Scott Merrick of South Hadley fell 25 feet off the trail around 11:30 Wednesday night. 35 emergency crew members worked through the night, for four and a half hours, using ropes and pulleys to rescue Merrick.
By 4:00 Thursday morning, he was brought down with some cuts and bruises; lucky to be alive.
The trail it is extremely steep and you have to be very careful, even during the daylight hours. It is even more treacherous at night in the pitch dark.
"I've actually been up there at night on full moon hikes, but even with a headlamp it's very hard to see a few feet in front of you if the moon's not out," Garriss said.
Reginald Zimmerman from the Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, which is charge of the park, says people hiking in the dark needed to be prepared. "You should always bring the appropriate equipment, such as headlamps, flashlights. Make sure that you study the map before you take off for the hike. Be aware of the terrain and understand your visibility will be reduced at night," Zimmerman said.
After a long night in the cold, Merrick is listed in good condition at Baystate Medical Center.
It remains unclear exactly what Merrick and a female companion were doing on the mountain so late at night.