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Entries from September 29th, 2015

Adirondack Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights: 9/21-9/27/15

September 29th, 2015 · No Comments · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents statewide. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations and volunteer search and rescue groups, Forest Rangers locate and extract lost, injured or distressed people from the backcountry.

“DEC Forest Rangers’ knowledge of first aid, land navigation and technical rescue techniques are often critical to the success of their missions,” said Acting DEC Commissioner Marc Gerstman. “Search and rescue missions often require Rangers to function in remote wilderness areas from rugged mountainous peaks to white-water rivers, and through vast forest areas from spruce-fir thicket to open hardwoods.”


Recent missions carried out by DEC Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks include:

Essex County
Town of North Elba – McKenzie Mountain Wilderness
Lost Hiker: On September 24, 2015, at 8:45 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call from a lost hiker to DEC Central Dispatch. The 53-year-old man said he had wandered off the Haystack trail approximately a ½ mile to 1 mile from State Route 86. DEC Forest Rangers responded to the area, located the man and escorted him back to the trailhead. The incident concluded at 11:00 p.m.

Town of North Elba – High Peaks Wilderness
Stranded Hikers: On September 27, 2015, at 11:38 a.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from two hikers stuck on a ledge on the Trap Dike, a popular climbing route on Colden. The 24-year-old woman from Cold Spring, NY and the 32-year-old man from Rochester, NY had attempted to exit the Trap Dike too early and became trapped on a ledge at 3400 feet in elevation. New York State Police Aviation inserted two DEC Forest Rangers into Lake Colden just after 1:00 p.m. They climbed up to the ledge and reached the hikers at 2:49 p.m. Rangers put the hikers into harnesses and slowly lowered from the ledge and down the Trap Dike to the base. The Rangers and hikers returned to the base at 4:47 p.m. The hikers then returned to their campsite near Lake Colden.

Franklin County
Town of Harrietstown – High Peaks Wilderness
Injured Hiker: On September 26, 2015, at 4:08 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call requesting assistance for an injured 66-year-old woman from Syracuse, NY. The woman sustained a lower leg injury while hiking down the back side of Donaldson Mountain on the Calkins Brook Trail. DEC Forest Rangers responded on a 6×6 and met the woman approximately two miles in on the Horse Trail. They assessed hear and transported her out. The woman said she would seek medical attention on her own. The incident concluded at 6:15 p.m.

Hamilton County
Town of Arietta – West Canada Lakes Wilderness
Injured Hiker: On September 23, 2015, at 1:11 p.m., the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office advised DEC Ray Brook Dispatch of a SOS beacon call it received. The beacon call came from the shore line of West Lake. At 1:25 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from the hiking partner of an injured 38-year-old woman. The caller advised that there was another hiker at the scene who had activated his SOS beacon. Dispatch notified a DEC Forest Ranger who was in the air with New York State Police Aviation in the town of Arietta. NYSP Aviation picked up an additional Forest Ranger at Indian Lake to assist in the rescue. Forest Rangers were inserted to the woman’s location and conducted an assessment. Ranger then packaged and hoisted the woman. The helicopter too her to Piseco Airport. Once there, the injured woman was transferred to local EMS for further medical treatment. EMS determined additional treatment was needed and transferred her to Albany Medical Center.

Herkimer County
Town of Russia – Private Land
Missing Person: On September 22, 2015 at 6:10 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Herkimer County 911 reporting a missing 91-year-old male from Russia, NY, last seen at 5:30 p.m. State Police responded to the scene and requested assistance from DEC Forest Rangers and Environmental Conservation Officers. They located the man at 9:15 p.m. and escorted him out of the woods. Local EMS assessed him and released him to his family.

Washington County
Town of Dresden – Lake George Wild Forest
Lost Hikers: On September 27, 2015, at 7:44 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call transferred from Warren County 911 from two lost hikers on Black Mountain. The 16-year-old female and 16-year-old male, both from Albany, had left at 4:00 p.m. from the Pike Brook Road to hike to the summit of Black Mountain and had become lost after leaving the summit. Warren County 911 provided an initial set of coordinates that placed the youths between the summits of Black Mountain and Sleeping Beauty. Dispatch immediately established text contact and directed the hikers to call 911 again to confirm the initial coordinates but the hikers were unable to do so. Two DEC Forest Rangers continued to the area of the initial coordinates given. At 10:54 p.m., the first Forest Ranger reached the location of the initial 911 coordinates but did not locate the pair. Dispatch directed them to call 911 again to try to re-bid coordinates. This third time, 911 was able to obtain cell phone coordinates that were 2.8 miles away from the first location and on the west side of Black Mountain, approximately 3/4 of a mile from Black Mountain Point on the shores of Lake George. A Forest Ranger overheard the radio traffic and inquired if the hikers had an iPhone. Dispatch was able to determine from the texts that the hikers did have an iPhone. Per the third Ranger, Dispatch directed the hikers to open the Compass application as it should also have coordinates. Dispatch had them send a screen shot of the compass app and plotted the coordinates, which confirmed the third and most recent 911 coordinates. The third Ranger then responded by boat to Black Mountain Point while the hikers were directed to hike downhill on the trail to Lake George. At 12:53 a.m. the hikers reached the Forest Ranger boat and were taken to a Forest Ranger vehicle at 1:30 a.m, which transported them to waiting family members by 2:30 a.m.

Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hiking Safety and Adirondack Trail Information webpages for more information.

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Adirondack Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights: 9/14-9/20/15

September 21st, 2015 · No Comments · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents statewide. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations and volunteer search and rescue groups, Forest Rangers locate and extract lost, injured or distressed people from the backcountry.

“DEC Forest Rangers’ knowledge of first aid, land navigation and technical rescue techniques are often critical to the success of their missions,” said Acting DEC Commissioner Marc Gerstman. “Search and rescue missions often require Rangers to function in remote wilderness areas from rugged mountainous peaks to white-water rivers, and through vast forest areas from spruce-fir thicket to open hardwoods.”


Recent missions carried out by DEC Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks include:

Essex County
Town of North Elba – High Peaks Wilderness
Injured hiker: On September 16, 2015 at 11:30 a.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from ADK Loj reporting it had been notified of an injured hiker approximately 20 minutes above the Street and Nye Mountain junction on the Street Mountain trail. The 24-year-old woman from Cold Springs, NY fell and sustained a lower leg injury. DEC Forest Rangers responded to Adirondack Loj and reached the injured woman at 2:15 p.m. They provided first aid and she managed to walk out slowly with assistance. They returned to Adirondack Loj at 6:15 p.m. The woman drove herself to Adirondack Medical Center – Lake Placid for treatment.

Town of Keene – High Peaks Wilderness
Distressed hiker: On September 19, 2015 at 6:17 p.m., Essex County 911 contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a 23-year-old man from New London, CT in medical distress approximately ¼ of a mile up the Big Slide trail from the Garden parking area. 911 dispatched the Keene Fire Department and Keene Valley Fire Department and EMS at the time of the call. DEC Forest Rangers responded to the Garden parking area. Fire Department personnel, with assistance from Forest Rangers, loaded the man into a litter and carried him back to the trailhead. The Keene Valley Ambulance transported him to Elizabethtown Community Hospital for treatment. The incident concluded at 7:37 p.m.

Town of Keene – High Peaks Wilderness
Stranded climbers: On September 20, 2015 at 6:20 p.m., a 45-year-old female hiker from Corinth, NY contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch reporting that she and her climbing companion, a 52-year-old woman also from Corinth, NY, were unable to descend Cascade Falls. The pair climbed Cascade Falls with the intention of bushwhacking back to the main trail, but they became disoriented once they reached the top of the falls and determined they could not safely make it back down. DEC Forest Rangers responded to assist the women back down. They short roped and belayed them to the base of the falls and escorted them back to their vehicle at the Cascade Day Use Area. The incident concluded at 9:30 p.m.

St. Lawrence County
Town of Clifton – Cranberry Lake Wild Forest
Injured hiker: On September 14, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. a DEC Forest Ranger advised DEC Ray Brook Dispatch of radio traffic dispatching the Cranberry Lake Fire Department to Bear Mountain to assist an injured 65-year-old female hiker from Luts, FL. The Forest Ranger responded along with Cranberry Lake and Star Lake Fire Department personnel. The hiker had fallen on a root near the summit and sustained a lower leg injury. They carried the woman out in a litter to the trailhead. Cranberry Lake Rescue transported her to Clifton-Fine Hospital in Star Lake at 9:30 p.m.

Warren County
Town of Bolton – Lake George Wild Forest
Distressed hiker: On September 15, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. Warren County 911 contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch about a 65-year-old male hiker from Clifton Park, NY in medical distress on Cat Mountain trail, approximately 15 minutes from the Cat & Thomas Mountain trailhead. The man had hiked Mount Severance in Schroon Lake that morning and then met a friend to hike Cat & Thomas Mountains. As they were headed back to the Cat Mountain trailhead the hiker collapsed on the trail. One Forest Ranger responded along with members of the Bolton Fire Department and EMS. They carried the hiker back to the trailhead at 6:25 p.m. and Bolton EMS transported him to Glens Falls hospital.

Washington County
Town of Fort Ann – Lake George Wild Forest
Lost hiker: On September 16, 2015 at 11:33 a.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from the friend of a 30-year-old female hiker from Fort Ann, NY lost on the trail to Inman Pond. DEC Dispatch made contact with her by text message and she told them she was near the pond but not on the trail. DEC Forest Rangers responded to the Inman Pond trailhead off Shelving Rock Road where they located the woman’s vehicle. DEC Dispatch advised the woman to contact 911 to obtain her GPS coordinates, but the coordinates obtained were not usable.

Forest Rangers then used binoculars to scan Crossett Lake and located the woman. At 2:17 p.m. Forest Rangers established voice contact at the northwest end of Crossett Pond. They escorted her back to trailhead at 3:35 p.m. and gave her a courtesy ride back to her vehicle.

Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hiking Safety and Adirondack Trail Information webpages for more information.

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Adirondack Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights: 9/7-9/13/15

September 14th, 2015 · No Comments · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents statewide. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations and volunteer search and rescue groups, Forest Rangers locate and extract lost, injured or distressed people from the backcountry.

“DEC Forest Rangers’ knowledge of first aid, land navigation and technical rescue techniques are often critical to the success of their missions,” said DEC Acting Commissioner Marc Gerstman. “Search and rescue missions often require Rangers to function in remote wilderness areas from rugged mountainous peaks to white-water rivers, and through vast forest areas from spruce-fir thicket to open hardwoods.”


Recent missions carried out by DEC Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks include:

Essex County
Town of Willsboro – Taylor Pond Wild Forest
Stranded Climbers: On September 11 at 2:20 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Essex County 911 reporting two rock climbers stranded on the Poke-O-Moonshine climbing trail. The 54-year-old man from Longueil, Quebec and the 23-year-old woman from Montreal, Quebec climbed Catharsis on the Poke-O-Moonshine slab and were in the process of rappelling down when their rope got stuck. They secured themselves at a belay station and called for help. A DEC Forest Ranger and two technical rock climbers responded. The technical rope climbers reached the climbers at 5:00 p.m., climbed above them and freed their rope. The group repelled down to the base and hiked out to their vehicles. The incident concluded at 5:30 p.m.

Franklin County
Town of Brighton – Debar Mountain Wild Forest
Injured Fisherman: On September 9 at 8:50 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Franklin County 911 requesting assistance for a fisherman on Mountain Pond who fell off a rock ledge. The 41-year-old man from Federalsburg, MD slipped and fell 20 feet while walking along a ridgeline. A DEC Forest Ranger responded with the Saranac Lake Fire Department and Rescue Squad, Paul Smiths – Gabriels Fire Department, and New York State Police. They located the man at the bottom of the cliff approximately .2 miles from Route 30 where they packaged and carried him out to the waiting ambulance. The ambulance transported the injured man to Adirondack Medical Center – Saranac Lake for further medical treatment. The incident concluded at 11:00 p.m.

Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hiking Safety and Adirondack Trail Information webpages for more information.

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Adirondack Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights: 8/31 – 9/7/15

September 8th, 2015 · No Comments · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents statewide. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations and volunteer search and rescue groups, Forest Rangers locate and extract lost, injured or distressed people from the backcountry.

“DEC Forest Rangers’ knowledge of first aid, land navigation and technical rescue techniques are often critical to the success of their missions,” said DEC Acting Commissioner Marc Gerstman. “Search and rescue missions often require Rangers to function in remote wilderness areas from rugged mountainous peaks to white-water rivers, and through vast forest areas from spruce-fir thicket to open hardwoods.”


Recent missions carried out by DEC Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks include:

Clinton County
Town of Black Brook – Taylor Pond Wild Forest
Distressed hiker: On September 5 at 3:00 p.m., DEC Ray Brook received a call from the hiking partner of a 27-year-old male from Purling, NY reporting the man was in medical distress. The pair were descending Catamount Mountain and his companion had become too weak to continue. A DEC Forest Ranger responded, met the men on the trail and provided fluids to rehydrate the ill man. The Rangers escorted the pair back to the trailhead at 5:19 p.m.

Essex County
Town of Wilmington – Whiteface Mountain Ski Area
Lost hikers: On August 31 at 10:20 p.m. DEC Central Dispatch was notified of a 22-year-old male and 22-year-old female from Montreal, QC lost on Whiteface Mountain. The pair had taken the Whiteface Mountain Gondola up the mountain and then bushwhacked to the top of the mountain. They reached the summit late in the evening and were not prepared to hike in the darkness. A DEC Forest Ranger responded to the Whiteface Memorial Highway and met the two approximately one mile up the road. They were transported back to their vehicle at Whiteface Mountain Ski Area at 2:00 a.m.

Town of North Elba – High Peaks Wilderness
Injured hiker: On September 5 at noon, the Cascade Summit Steward notified DEC Ray Brook Dispatch of an injured 18-year-old female from Oswego, NY on the trail between Cascade Mountain and Porter Mountain with a non-weight bearing injury. DEC Forest Rangers stabilized the woman for an aviation rescue and New York State Police Aviation hoisted her off the summit. She was transported to Adirondack Medical Center in Lake Placid for further medical treatment.

Town of North Hudson – High Peaks Wilderness
Lost hikers: On September 5 at 12:20 a.m., DEC Central Dispatch was notified of three male hikers who had failed to meet their ride at the predetermined location after hiking Mount Marcy. The 21-year-old, 20-year-old, and 17-year-old all from Dundee, NY had been dropped off at the Panther Lake trailhead at 7:00 a.m. During their decent, darkness fell upon them and they became disoriented causing them to walk two extra miles. They did not have any flashlights or headlamps. A DEC Forest Ranger located the men near the Elk Lake parking area and provided them with a courtesy ride to Lake Harris Campground where they were staying. The incident concluded at 4:45 a.m.

Town of North Elba – High Peaks Wilderness
Distressed hiker: On September 7 at 11:15 a.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance for a 34-year-old male from Birdsboro, PA in medical distress on the north end of Avalanche Lake. He had encountered the Lake Colden Caretaker who rowed him across Avalanche Lake while DEC Forest Rangers and Assistant Forest Rangers responded. The man had become immobile and was unable to walk on his own. A carry out was organized from Avalanche Lake down Misery Mile to Marcy Dam. At 8:24p.m. Forest Rangers transferred him to an awaiting All-Terrain Vehicle and provided him with a ride to his vehicle and were advised he would seek medical attention on his own.

Herkimer County
Town of Webb – Fulton Chain Wild Forest
Injured hiker: On September 7, at 3:10 p.m. Herkimer County 911 contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch regarding an injured 27-year-old female hiker from Cato, NY halfway up Bald Mountain. Six DEC Forest Rangers responded with Fire Department members from Old Forge, Eagle Bay and the town of Webb Rescue Squad. The hiker was carried back to the trailhead. She was transported to St. Luke’s Hospital in Utica for treatment.

Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hiking Safety and Adirondack Trail Information webpages for more information.

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Adirondack Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights: 8/24-8/30/15

September 1st, 2015 · No Comments · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents statewide. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations and volunteer search and rescue groups, Forest Rangers locate and extract lost, injured or distressed people from the backcountry.

“DEC Forest Rangers’ knowledge of first aid, land navigation and technical rescue techniques are often critical to the success of their missions,” said DEC Acting Commissioner Marc Gerstman. “Search and rescue missions often require Rangers to function in remote wilderness areas from rugged mountainous peaks to white-water rivers, and through vast forest areas from spruce-fir thicket to open hardwoods.”


Recent missions carried out by DEC Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks include:

Warren County
Town of Chester – Private Land
Lost youth: On August 24, 2015 at 7:30 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a transferred call from Warren County 911 from a 15-year-old lost male from Gormley, Ontario, Canada. The boy, vacationing with family nearby, had gone for a run and gotten lost on logging trails on private property. A DEC Forest Ranger used GPS coordinates from the teen’s cell phone to locate the boy in good health at 8:45 p.m. The Ranger returned him to his family at 9:30 p.m.

Washington County
Town of Fort Ann – Lake George Wild Forest
Lost hiker: On August 25, 2015 at 11:36 a.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a transferred call from Warren County 911 from a 51-year-old woman from Buffalo, NY, lost on Buck Mountain. She left from the Pilot Knob side of Buck Mountain at 10:30 a.m., and became lost at 11:20 a.m. The woman then directly called Ray Brook Dispatch with coordinates and elevation bearings from her cell phone, which placed her near the Butternut Creek on Buck Mountain. Dispatch told her to wait there, while two DEC Forest Rangers responded to the area. One Forest Ranger entered Buck Mountain through the Pilot Knob side while the other Forest Ranger entered through the Inman Pond Trail. They located her near Butternut Creek at 1:50 p.m. and escorted her back to her vehicle. The incident concluded at 3:01 p.m.

Town of Fort Ann – Lake George Wild Forest
Lost hikers: On August 30, 2015 at 7:13 p.m., Washington County 911 transferred a call to DEC Ray Brook Dispatch from a male hiker, lost with his 18-year-old daughter on the Shelving Rock Trail System. A DEC Forest Ranger made direct contact with the father and located the pair at 10:38 p.m. The Ranger escorted them out of the woods and back to their vehicle at 11:06 p.m.

Essex County
Town of North Elba – High Peaks Wilderness
Distressed hiker: On August 27, 2015 at 4:50 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC Ray Brook Dispatch from a 39-year-old woman in medical distress on top of Algonquin Mountain. A DEC Forest Ranger spoke to the woman and determined an aviation rescue was necessary. New York State Police Aviation inserted a Forest Ranger to access and prepare the woman for hoist. At 6:39 p.m., they hoisted her off the summit and transported her to Adirondack Health Center in Saranac Lake for further medical treatment.

Town of Keene – High Peaks Wilderness
Distressed hiker: On August 27, 2015 at 5:00 p.m., DEC Ray Brook received a radio call from Johns Brook Loj reporting a 77-year-old woman from New York, NY in medical distress approximately .5 miles from Johns Brook Loj. Hikers who encountered the woman along the trail reported her status to Loj staff members. Loj staff members assessed the woman and assisted her back to the Loj. New York State Police Aviation transported two DEC Forest Rangers into Johns Brook Valley. The woman was airlifted to Marcy Field where she was transferred to Keene Valley EMS and taken to Elizabethtown Hospital for further medical treatment.

Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hiking Safety and Adirondack Trail Information webpages for more information.

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