The NYSDEC rangers were quite busy this Spring with a bunch of search and rescues. We are very lucky to have this safety-net.
Quite the collection of incidents in this latest report, many related to sketchy conditions due to late-season snow, rain, and high-water.
- “Cotton almost Kills” unprepared hiker on Mt Marcy
- Snowmobiler hits log bridge – endo
- No Flashlight, washed-out bridge, makes for a long night.
- High water thwarts left-behind hiker on Mt Marcy
- Carrying exhausted-dog on Dix Mt causes same for owner.
- Slip ‘n Fall on Poke-o-Moonshine
- City-hikers bonk on Whiteface
- Trapped on the Dyke (this is a common story)
- Hurt leg at near Wallface – cool place, but tough for rescue
- Slipped-knot results in fall at Chapel Pond
- Another City-hiker, bonked on Algonquin Mt
- Blowdown adventure off the Sewards
- 4 year old lost for a couple hours at Sacandaga Lake
- Various kayakers encounter whitewater
- Father and son lost on Black Mt
- Black-fly Bike-crash
- Another leg-injury on Hadley Mt
- Unknown medical on Tongue Mt
Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness Area
On Wednesday, March 23, 2011, at approximately 7:42 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from women from Hawaii requesting assistance for her grandson, Hans Kern, 20, of Annandale on Hudson, NY. Mr. Kern was on the summit of Mt Marcy and was not prepared to spend the night.
Three DEC Forest Rangers responded. In direct cell phone conversations between Mr. Kern and one of the forest rangers it was learned that Mr. Kern was cold and tired, and wanted to be retrieved from the mountain. The forest ranger further learned that he was wearing jeans and a cotton “hoodie” sweatshirt, that he had a stove with no gas, snowshoes that he wasn’t wearing, and no water but he did have a flashlight. The Forest Ranger directed Mr. Kern to put on the snowshoes and begin walking back down the trail, both to shorten his stay on the mountain and to warm his body with physical activity. The three Forest Rangers met Mr. Kern on the VanHovenberg Trail at 10:42 pm and assisted him in walking out of the woods.
This hiker was fortunate to have escaped his predicament without any bodily harm. Other than carrying a flashlight he was completely unprepared for any hike, let alone a hike in the High Peaks during winter conditions. The DEC website provides information on how to safely plan, prepare and complete a hike at: Hiking Safety
Town of Newcomb, Goodnow Conservation Area
On Saturday, March 26, 2011, at approximately 5:22 pm, while on routine patrol a DEC Forest Ranger heard the Newcomb Fire and Rescue being dispatched to a snowmobile accident on conservation easement land. The Forest Ranger responded to assist and located the snowmobile off the groomed trail and down a log road. A snowmobile operated by James Case, 51 of Greenfield, NY, had hit a log bridge, throwing him forward over the snowmobile. The impact resulted in Mr. Case receiving several injuries. He was extracted by snowmobile and rescue sled to the road, transferred to Newcomb Emergency Medical Service ambulance and transported to Glens Falls Hospital for treatment. Use caution when snowmobiling on unfamiliar trails.
Town of Keene, High Peaks Wilderness Area
On Saturday, May 7, 2011, at approximately 10:03 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook was notified that Debbie DiMaggio, 45, of Niskayuna, NY was overdue from a hike to Allen Mt. Five DEC Forest Rangers responded along with ATVs and chainsaws because of the high water conditions and snow bridges. The Forest Rangers began searching the area for Ms. DiMaggio but were unable to locate her. Plans were made to return in the morning to search further. At 8:00 am the following morning, as forest rangers were beginning their search assignments, Ms. DiMaggio came walking out of the woods in good condition. She reported to that a bridge on her planned route had washed out so she had to take another path. She spent the night walking around, searching for the path, but had difficulties because of the darkness. In the morning light she was able to find the path and walk out. Always carry a flashlight, extra food and water and other supplies to comfortably spend an unexpected night in the woods.
Town of Keene, High Peaks Wilderness Area
On Saturday, May 14, 2011, at approximately 11:35 pm, DEC Central Dispatch received a call from Essex County 911 reporting a missing hiker on Mt. Marcy. A member of a hiking group that had included Jim Browning, 52, of Birdsboro, PA, reported that at 4:30 pm, the group had began descending the summit of Mt. Marcy to get supplies from their base camp at Marcy Dam. Mr. Browning was descending behind them as he moved a slower pace than the other three members of the party. After obtaining the needed supplies the three hikers headed back up the VanHovenberg Trail but after hiking for an hour did not encounter Mr. Browning. The three hikers returned to Marcy Dam and called for assistance. It was learned that Mr. Browning was dressed properly and had some food and water with him. Two Forest Rangers began searching the trails on and around Mt. Marcy but after hours of unsuccessful searching in heavy rains decided to try again in the morning.
Five DEC Forest Rangers responded early the next morning and once again began searching the trails around Mt. Marcy. At approximately 12: 15 pm, Mr. Browning contacted one of the other members of his group by cell phone indicating that he was at the intersection of the Phelps Trail approximately 0.6 mile below the summit of Mt. Marcy. He was instructed to wait there for Forest Rangers. When they arrived just minutes later, Mr. Browning was found cold and wet but otherwise in good condition. He was escorted down to the Marcy Dam Outpost where he was warmed up and fed before being transported back to trailhead. Mr. Browning reported that he had taken his glasses off because they were fogging up in the rain. He mistakenly took the Phelps Trail down to the Slant Rock Lean-to where he spent the night. In the morning he attempted to continue out towards Johns Brook Lodge but was unable to cross Johns Brook due to high waters. He returned up the Phelps Trail and when he reached the intersection with the VanHovenberg trail he was able to get cell phone signal and call his hiking partner. Groups should always remain together and never leave a group member alone. Always be prepared to spend a night in the woods.
Town of North Hudson, Dix Mountain Wilderness Area
On Monday, May 17, 2011, at approximately 10:00 pm, a visitor stopped by a DEC Forest Ranger’s headquarters and reported that his hiking partner, Ryan Doyle, 28 of Queensbury, NY, was in need of assistance on the trail below the summit of Dix Mountain. He stated that Mr. Doyle’s had become exhausted after attempting to carry his dog down the mountain after it had collapsed and needed to be carried off the mountain. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded, first making arrangements for the visitor to stay at a nearby lodging facility. The Forest Rangers located Mr. Doyle and his dog 1/4 mile from the Lillian Brook Lean-to. He was exhausted, but willing to walk to the nearby lean-to escorted by the forest rangers, who carried his dog. Once at the lean-to, Forest Rangers rehydrated and fed Mr. Doyle and the dog. By approximately 8:00 am, Mr. Doyle was able to travel slowly on his own power. Forest Rangers escorted him and the dog to the trailhead where they were reunited with the other member of the hiking party at 1:00 pm. Hiking in snow and cold weather is hard work (even when you are not carrying a dog). Eat plenty of food and drink plenty of liquids to keep up your strength.
Town of Chesterfield, Taylor Pond Wild Forest
On Sunday, May 22, 2011, at approximately 12:12 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook was notified of an injured hiker on Poke-O-Moonshine mountain. Megan Berry, 27, of Plattsburgh, NY was hiking on the trail to the fire tower when she slipped and fell, injuring her leg. A DEC Forest Ranger responded as well as volunteer Emergency Medical Services crews from Keeseville, Lewis and Willsboro fire departments. Ms. Berry was located about 1 mile from trail head. Her injury was stabilized by EMS personnel; she was packaged in a litter and carried out to the trailhead. She was transported by ambulance to Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh for further evaluation and treatment. Accidents can happen, always carry a first aid kit and know how to obtain assistance in emergency situations. The DEC Forest Ranger emergency phone number is 518-891-0235.
Town of Wilmington, McKenzie Mountain Forest Preserve
On Tuesday, May 31, 2011, at approximately 5:05 pm, DEC Dispatch at Ray Brook received a call from a group of hikers on the summit of Whiteface Mountain requesting assistance. Jesse Schickler, Alec Montalvo, Samantha Garbarino, Sean Winker, Thomas Iacono, – all age 20 and from Staten Island, NY, and Michael Winker, 22, of Brooklyn, NY had begun the hike from the Connery Pond trailhead at 10:00 am that morning and were not without food and water. A DEC Forest Ranger responded meeting up with the group at 8:20 pm and provided a ride back to their vehicle, dropping them off at 9:00 pm. Know the physical abilities of all the members of your hiking party and plan hiking trips that all are capable of completing in a reasonable time. Always carry more than enough food and water.
Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness Area
On Tuesday, June 7, 2011, at approximately 5:11 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from a hiker stating that his two companions were stuck on the face of Mt. Colden. James Vize, 25, and Kirstyn Quinn, 21, both of Lake Placid, NY, had climbed up the Trap Dyke with a companion. The companion had climbed out successfully but Mr. Vize and Ms. Quinn were now stuck at the last slide on the right of the Trap Dyke. Four DEC Forest Rangers responded to assist along with local rock climbing rescue volunteer. Plans were coordinated with the State Police Aviation Unit to insert two Forest Rangers and the volunteer by the helicopter at the bottom of the Trap Dyke. At 7:20 pm they reached Mr. Vize and Ms. Quinn and slowly brought down the slide. All three subjects walked out and were back at their vehicle by 9:58 pm. Know your abilities and the difficulties of the hike or climb you plan to take. If your abilities don’t match the capabilities change your plans until your abilities have improved.
Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness
On Saturday, June 18, 2011, at approximately 2:30 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call stating a hiker had a severe leg injury was in need of assistance. Stephen Cahill, 51, of Peru, NY had hiked from the Adirondack Loj to Scott Pond, near Wallface Mountain, with a group of boy scouts when he sustained his injury. At DEC Forest Ranger responded to the location while ten others forest rangers were preparing to assist in the nearly 5 mile carry, which includes an 800 foot descent over a one mile stretch. The Forest Ranger reached Mr. Cahill at 4:30 pm and determined that due to the nature and severity of the injury, a carry out could worsen the injury. A helicopter from the State Police Aviation Unit was requested. At 6:22 pm Mr. Cahill was hoisted into a State Police helicopter out of Albany and then transported to the Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake. The DEC Forest Ranger emergency phone number is 518-891-0235.
Town of Keene, Giant Mountain Wilderness
On Saturday, June 18, 2011, at approximately 5:15 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received information from Essex County 911 that climber had fallen near Chapel Pond and was injured. Rebecca Martin, 28, of Winooski, Vt., was climbing on the Creature Wall with a partner when she reportedly fell 30 feet to the ground. DEC Forest Rangers and Keene Valley Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene. Ms. Martin was found to have numerous abrasions and a number of more serious injuries. She packaged into a litter and carried her to Route 73. At 6:20 pm she was placed in an ambulance a transported to Elizabethtown Community Hospital. She was stabilized there and transported to Fletcher Allen Hospital in Burlington, VT for further treatment. The DEC Forest Ranger emergency phone number is 518-891-0235.
Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness
On Monday, June 20, 2011, an Assistant Forest Ranger on routine patrol encountered a stressed hiker near McIntyre Falls on the Algonquin Mountain Trail. Gerard Cadorette, 46, of Brooklyn, NY was suffering dehydration, exhaustion and a possible ankle injury. The Assistant Forest Ranger contacted DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook and request assistance. Two Forest Rangers were dispatched to the location. While awaiting their arrival the Assistant Forest Ranger provided fluids to Mr. Cadorettte. When the Forest Rangers arrived Mr. Cadorrette was able to move on his own power. Forest Rangers escorted him to the Adirondack Loj trailhead where he chose to seek further medical treatment on his own. Drink plenty of water while hiking and take rest breaks often to prevent exhaustion.
Town of Harrietstown, High Peaks Wilderness
At 6:10 AM on Monday, June 16, 2011, a man called 911 via his cell phone and stated he was lost in the Seward Range in the western High Peaks. Mike Cerelli, 45, of Clay, NY had parked on the Corey’s Road and hiked in to the Wards Brook Lean-to over the weekend. He then climbed the Seward Range and was heading to Caulkins Brook Lean-to. Due to the heavy blowdown in that area he decided to return to Corey’s Road. Again due to the blowdown he was unable to find his way and at the time of his initial call he was unsure of his location.
Eight DEC Forest Rangers and a helicopter from the State Police Aviation Unit responded to the area. Forest Rangers instructed Mr. Cerelli to stay put and make his location as visible as possible from the air so that he could be spotted by forest rangers in the helicopter. He was unable to start a fire due to wet matches. Mr. Cerelli was spotted from that air at 2 pm on the side of Mount Emmons. At 4:30 pm, a forest ranger was inserted by State Police helicopter. Mr. Cerelli was found to have an injury to his knee and he was transported back to the Lake Clear Airport at 4:50 pm. He stated he would seek medical attention on his own. A forest ranger transported to his vehicle on Corey’s Road where he was dropped off at 5:10 pm. Know the conditions on the ground in the area you plan to hike. Carry matches in waterproof containers and have a bright tent, sleeping bag, blanket or other piece of material to signal aircraft in an emergency.
Town of Northampton, Northampton Campground
On Friday, May 27, 2011, at approximately 6:42 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from the caretaker at the DEC Northampton Beach Campground who reported that a 4 year old girl had walked away from her family’s campsite. The girl’s family, from Ballston Lake, searched for 20 minutes prior to notifying the campground staff. Seven DEC Forest Rangers responded and began developing a search plan. The girl’s father located her at 7:45 pm before the forest rangers had begun their search. She was found about 900 feet from her campsite in a flooded portion of the campground. According to the girl, she had walked to use the bathroom and became lost when returning to her site. Watch children closely and seek assistance as soon as possible when a child is lost.
Town of Speculator, Conservation Easement Lands
On Saturday, March 26, 2011, at approximately 3:30 pm, a DEC Forest Ranger received a request from the Hamilton County Sheriff Department to assist with a snowmobile accident in the Town of Lake Pleasant. Upon arrival it was determined Jaqueline DeGray, 53, of Branford, CT and Brian Owens, 52 of Clinton, NY had collided with one another. Neither snowmobiler was injured but their snowmobiles were damaged. No tickets were issued.
Town of Hope, Silver Lake Wilderness
On Saturday, May 28, 2011, at approximately 4:00 pm, Hamilton County Emergency Management Services was contacted by the husband of one of three women stranded on the western shore of the Sacandaga River. Gayle Austro, 44, of Scotia, NY, US, Debbie Crandall, 47, of East Syracuse, NY and a 17 year old female also of East Syracuse NY had been staying with other family members at the DEC Sacandaga Campground along the Sacandaga River. At approximately 1:30 pm the three women, each in a recreational kayak, began a trip down the river from a location upstream of the campground.
Family members began searching for them after they were unable to locate them on the river. The family members extended their search and found the women a couple miles downstream on the opposite bank. The women, who were not experienced in white water, had overturned their kayaks.
Fortunately all three were wearing Personal Flotation Devices and were able to reach the western shore of the river. Unfortunately the spot that they came assure was in the Silver Lake Wilderness on the opposite bank from Route 30 and miles away from any trails or roads. The women were in bathing suits and did not have proper footwear for walking through the woods. They were unable to reach roads and trails, and it was too risky to cross the wide stretch of fast, high waters water.
Hamilton County Emergency Management Services contacted the DEC Forest Rangers seeking their response to the incident. DEC forest rangers used an air boat to reach the women. All three were in good condition with just some minor scratches and bruises. The women were placed on the air boat and returned to their family members on the east bank of the river by 6:07 pm. Wells Volunteer Ambulance Service, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department and New York State Police also participated in the rescue. Know your capabilities and the water conditions before paddling any water. Be prepared to walk out from the shore of the waters if your boat is damaged or you are otherwise stranded. Always wear personal floatation devices and helmets when paddling in swift waters.
Town of Wells, Silver Lake Wilderness
On Wednesday, June 15, 2011, at 12:18 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook was contacted by staff at the DEC Sacandaga Campground reporting a paddler stranded in the middle of the Sacandaga River. Crystal Nayes, 29, of Bomoseen,VT had her kayak pinned against a rock in the middle of the river. She was able to exit the kayak but was standing fast moving waist high water about 100 feet from shore. Three DEC Forest Rangers, Fulton County Emergency Medical Services and Wells Ambulance responded to the scene. Forest Rangers and Fulton County EMS personnel used a throw bag to get a rope to Ms. Nayes and pull her to shore. She was examined by Fulton County EMS and found to be in good condition. Forest Rangers were able to retrieve the kayak and return it to Ms. Nayes. Know your capabilities and the water conditions before paddling any water. Always wear personal floatation devices and helmets when paddling in swift waters.
Town of Inlet, Pigeon Lake Wilderness
On Saturday, May 28, 2011, at approximately 2:00pm, DEC Central Dispatch received a call from Herkimer County 911 who reported lost hikers on the Black Bear Mountain Trail. Kurt Wilson, 37, of Utica, NY, stated that he was with his 3 yr old son and that they had lost the trail. Herkimer County 911 was able to obtain coordinates from Mr. Wilson’s cell phone that placed him 1.5 miles from the trailhead. Four DEC Forest Rangers responded and started a hasty search of the trails and surrounding drainages. At 3:40 father and son were located in good condition and escorted back to the trailhead. Know the trails and surrounding areas you plan to hike. Always carry a map and compass.
Town of Arietta, Moose River Plains Wild Forest
On Saturday, June 11, 2011, at 11:25 am, a DEC Forest Ranger patrolling the Black Fly Challenge bike race was informed of a biking accident. Responding to the accident he found Steve Seabury, 42 of Old Chatham, NY on the ground with injuries to his left shoulder and ribs. The Forest Ranger made the patient as comfortable as possible. Using both an ATV and his truck, the Forest Ranger transported Mr. Seabury to an Indian Lake Ambulance, which was standing by on the Cedar River Road. He was taken to Glens Falls Hospital for further evaluation and treatment. Accidents can happen, always carry a first aid kit and know how to obtain assistance in emergency situations. The DEC Forest Ranger emergency phone number is 518-891-0235.
Town of Hadley, Silver Lake Forest Preserve
On Sunday, May 29, 2011, at approximately 12:15pm, a DEC Forest Ranger was contacted by Saratoga Co. 911 and informed of an injured hiker on Hadley Mountain. Rosemary McGuire, 58, of Amsterdam, NY. The DEC Forest Ranger responded with the Stoney Creek Fire Department and Luzerne/Hadley Fire& Rescue to Ms. McGuire’s reported location, about one mile from the trailhead. She was found to have a lower leg injury which required her to be carried out. Additional Forest Rangers were requested to assist in the carry out. Ms. McGuire’s leg was splinted and rescue personnel began carrying her out at 1:52 pm. The group reached the trailhead at 2:50 pm where Ms. McGuire was placed in an ambulance and transported to Glens Falls Hospital for further evaluation and treatment. Accidents can happen, always carry a first aid kit and know how to obtain assistance in emergency situations. The DEC Forest Ranger emergency phone number is 518-891-0235.
Town of Hague, Lake George Wild Forest
On Saturday, May 21, 2011, at approximately 3:31 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from a hiker in need of assistance because of a medical emergency. Charity Anderson, 35, of Glens Falls, NY was with a group hiking the Tongue Mountain Trail when she became stricken. She stopped at the Five Mile Lean-to and requested assistance in getting back to her vehicle at the Clay Meadow Trailhead. A DEC Forest Ranger and a Hague Emergency Medical Services responded to the Hullett Parking Area. The Forest Ranger requested that Dispatch instruct Ms. Anderson and her group to begin walking north towards the Deer Leap Trailhead. The Forest Ranger and the EMS personnel met her about 1 mile up the trail. EMS personnel administered treatment for Ms. Anderson’s condition and they all walked back to the trailhead. Ms. Anderson received additional treatments from EMS personnel at the trailhead while the Forest Ranger transported the rest of the group back to their vehicle at the Clay Meadow Trailhead. Ms. Anderson was released to her group at 7:00 pm. Carry a good supply of all necessary medications for any medical conditions you may have.