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Autumn Search and Rescue

October 22nd, 2009 · No Comments · News


Essex County

Town of Keene, High Peaks Wilderness Area

On Wednesday, September 30, at approximately 7:28 PM, DEC Dispatch received a call reporting an overdue hiker from Mount Marcy, Table Top and Phelps Mtn. James Cipparrone, 29, of Berlin, NJ, was last seen at approximately 4:15 pm Monday, September 28, departing the lean-to at ADK Loj to camp in the interior. Last known contact with Mr. Cipparone was on Tuesday, September 29, in a phone conversation with his father he stated that he was on top of the mountain, but eight miles from his group. Based on the description of the gear the he was carrying, it was decided that he could spend one more night out. On Thursday morning several DEC forest rangers responded and checked all lean-tos in the Marcy Dam, Avalanche Camps, Lake Colden/Flowed Lands and Johns Brook Valley areas. The networks of trails around Mount Marcy, Table Top and Phelps were also checked. No sign of Mr. Cipparone were located, so plans were formulated to continue the search Friday morning. On Friday morning personnel began rechecking the trail system and drainages off Mt. Marcy. At 11:58 AM Mr. Cipparrone was located in good health by an assistant forest ranger on the Hopkins trail, just below the junction with the VanHovenburg trail. He was escorted out to the ADK Loj. New York State Police Aviation Unit, DEC interior caretakers, and summit stewards participated in the search. DEC Forest Rangers remind hikers to always stay with their group.

Town of Wilmington, McKenzie Mountain Wilderness

On Friday, October 2, at approximately 3:30 PM, DEC Dispatch received a call reporting a hiker with an injured knee on the west side of Whiteface Mountain. DEC Forest Rangers and members of Search and Rescue of Northern Adirondacks responded by boat across Lake Placid to Whiteface Landing where they hiked up to meet Ariame Gaudreau, 34, of St .Paul, Quebec. She was carried back to the landing, transported across the lake by boat and, at 8:10 PM, transferred to a private vehicle at the DEC Lake Placid Boat Launch. She was transported to a hospital by the private vehicle.

Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness

On Saturday, October 10, at approximately 10:27 AM, DEC Dispatch received a call from Essex County 911 reporting that someone had placed a cell phone call and stated he had a dislocated shoulder. Michael Tourville, 34, of Quebec, Canada reported he was ten minutes from the summit of Algonquin Mountain. A DEC forest ranger and a summit steward responded, located the subject and assessed is condition. They reduced the shoulder dislocation, stabilized Mr. Tourville and escorted him back to the ADK Loj. Arriving at 2:38 PM, Mr. Tourville denied any further medical attention, stating he would seek own medical attention when he returned to Canada.

Town of Wilmington, McKenzie Mountain Wilderness

On Saturday October 10, at approximately 10:27 AM, DEC Dispatch received a call reporting a person in the water at Wilmington Notch. A DEC forest ranger arrived on scene first and determined that Mark Minor, no age obtained, of Moorhead, KY, had fallen approximately twenty feet off a ledge and landing in the water. Mr. Minor was able to get himself out of the water, but no further due to the head, shoulder and rib injuries sustained in the fall. DEC Forest Rangers and members of the Wilmington Fire Department and Ambulance Squad rappelled to the Mr. Minor and stabilized him. DEC Forest Rangers rigged a rope system and, with the assistance of fire department personnel, did a high angle retrieve. Mr. Minor was transported by ambulance to the parking lot of the High Falls Gorge where he was transferred to State Police Aviation Unit helicopter for transport to Fletcher Allen Hospital in Vermont. It was determined Mr. Minor and his wife stopped at the New York State Highway pull off, at the top of Wilmington Notch, to observe the scenery. They had walked to the edge of the ledge over the Ausable River, where he then stumbled and fell over the edge.

Town of Keene, Hurricane Mountain Primitive Area

On Sunday October 11, at approximately 4:12 PM, DEC Dispatch received a call from Karl Teh, 50, of Greenfield Center, NY, who was having difficulty breathing. Mr. Teh stated that he was at the summit of Weston Mountain on the Nun-Da-Gao Ridge trail, approximately three miles from the trail head. The DEC dispatcher advised him to sit and rest and eat something. The dispatcher then requested a DEC forest ranger to contacted Mr. Teh. The DEC forest ranger contacted Mr. Teh and learned that he had cold induced asthma. After a brief rest he stated he would continue down the trail. Forest rangers and emergency medical technicians from the Keene Emergency Medical Squad began walking in to his location. The rescuers did a visual and verbal assessment of Mr. Teh when they met up. He denied any medical attention, stating he would follow up with his doctor. The rescuers escorted him back to the trailhead. DEC Forest Rangers remind people to not take strenuous hikes when they are ill.

Essex County, Town of Keene, Dix Mountain Wilderness Area

On Sunday, October 11, at approximately 11:30 PM, DEC Dispatch received a report of overdue rock climbers on the cliffs near Chapel Pond. Ashleyann Pendleberry, 27, of Lebenon, NJ, Sandra Viriyayuthakorn, 27 and Keith Hatcher, 26, both of Bridgewater, NJ, had gone rock climbing at approximately 11:00 AM, and planned on climbing until dark and then returning to New Jersey. New York State Police checked the area around Chapel Pond and located the group’s vehicle. DEC forest rangers responded and were able to make contact with the group initially by signaling with a flashlight. They then moved close enough to make voice contact. The group stated they were fine, but all their flashlights were dead. Rangers reached the group and assisted them down and back to their vehicle. DEC Forest Rangers remind hikers and climbers to be sure that their flashlights have fresh batteries and to always carry extra batteries.

Town of Keene, Dix Mountain Wilderness

On Tuesday, October 13, at approximately 7:25 AM, DEC Dispatch received a call from Adirondack Mountain Reserve Security stating that a man was there reporting a stranded hiker. Katherine Frey, 86, of Cropseyville NY, was on the trail to Round Mountain and could not proceed due to fatigue. Mrs. Frey and her son had spent the night on the trail after darkness fell and they were without a flashlight. When daylight arrived the son walked out to seek assistance. DEC forest rangers, a paramedic and members of the Keene Valley Fire Department responded. The rescuers located Mrs. Frey conscious but suffering from mild hypothermia. She was carried two miles to an awaiting ambulance. At 11:20 AM she was transported to the Elizabethtown Community Hospital. DEC Forest Rangers remind hikers to know their physical abilities and the length and difficulty of a hike before undertaking it. Also, always carry a flashlight and extra batteries.

Washington County

Town of Dresden, Lake George Wild Forest

On Saturday, October 10, at approximately 5:30 PM, DEC Dispatch received a call from the Washington County Sheriff reporting a hiker lost on Black Mountain. Christina Pelletier, 37, of Albany, NY, had become separated from her hiking group and became lost. While DEC Forest Rangers were responding, Ms. Pelletier’s boyfriend located her 1.5 miles south of Black Mountain Point on the shore of Lake George. However, they only had one small flash light, so they decided to stay put until forest rangers arrived. The two were located and escorted safely out of the woods by 8:30 PM. DEC Forest Rangers remind hikers to always stay with their group and to carry always carry a flashlight with extra batteries.

Warren County

Town of Warrensburg, Private Lands

On Sunday, October 11, at approximately 6:00 PM, DEC Dispatch received a call from Ron DiDonna, 62, of Glenville, NY stating that he and his wife, Mary DiDonna, 56, were lost off of East Kelm Pond Road. The couple had left their vehicle to inspect a property for possible purchase, but became lost on the property’s logging roads. A DEC forest ranger responded to the search while Warren County 911 obtained coordinates from the cell phone. The forest ranger located the DiDonna’s vehicle and, using the coordinates provide by Warren County 911, attempted to locate them by various means without success. A second forest ranger was dispatched to assist with the search. At 10:30 PM the couple was located on the backside of a large ridge, approximately one mile from their vehicle. They were safely escorted back to their vehicle by 11:00PM. DEC Forest Rangers remind people to know the terrain they explore and to always carry a map and compass when going into the backcountry.

Sorry, no map this time, will update when I’m back from Los Angeles.

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