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Adirondack Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights: 8/17-8/23/15

August 26th, 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
Rock Climbing Rescue: On August 17, 2015 at 3:06 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call reporting a 23-year-old male climber from Carmel, NY, hanging from a rope on Wallface Mountain Cliffs, on the diagonal climbing route, after falling 60 to 80 feet. A separate group climbing just above the fallen climber rappelled down and provided basic first aid.

Twelve Forest Rangers, two volunteer climbers and a helicopter from the State Police Aviation Unit stationed at the Lake Clear Airport responded to the incident. A Forest Ranger and one of the volunteer climbers were inserted via hoist, operated by another Forest Ranger from a State Police helicopter, hovering in the Indian Pass Canyon. The helicopter lowered the pair onto a precarious sloped accumulation of broken rocks (scree) at the base of the cliff. The Forest Ranger and the volunteer then climbed a 200 foot vertical cliff with a 5.5 difficulty rating on the Yosemite Decimal Scale (5.0-5.15) rating system to a small ledge where they located the injured climber. They assessed the injured climber’s medical condition and developed plans to get him off the cliff.

The helicopter then lowered another Forest Ranger and volunteer climber to the same scree slope with a litter. The injured climber’s climbing companions helped the four rescuers raise the litter to the crowded small ledge. While one Forest Ranger packaged the injured climber into the litter, one of the volunteer climbers built anchors with artificial protection. They rigged a technical rope system and the rescuers on the ledge attended the litter as it was lowered 200 feet to the scree slope.

Four additional Forest Rangers hiked 4.5 miles from Upper Works Trailhead, arriving as the litter reached the bottom of the cliff. They attended the litter with the injured climber down the scree slope to an open area. At 8:00 p.m. a Forest Ranger steadied the litter as it was hoisted up to the State Police helicopter. The Helicopter transported the injured climber to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake.

The Forest Rangers, volunteer climbers and the initial responding climbers hiked out to the Upper Works Trailhead and were transported back to their vehicles in Lake Placid.

Town of Keene – Giant Mountain Wilderness
Overdue Hikers: On August 20, 2015 at 9:44 a.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a report of two overdue hikers. A 21-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man, both from Los Angeles, CA, had left the previous day from the Adirondack Mountain Reserve to hike Giant Mountain. As neither had access to a vehicle, it was assumed the pair departed from the nearby Roaring Brook Trailhead. Two DEC Forest Rangers initially searched the other trailheads to Giant Mountain with no results. At 12:15 p.m., as additional Forest Rangers responded, the pair were located hiking along Route 73 between Chapel Pond and Ausable Road. They reported they had started late from the Mossy Cascade Trailhead. The female hiker had gotten stuck in the mud in a swampy area for a period of time. Later, the male hiker developed physical issues that slowed him down. With darkness approaching they decided to hike to the Giant Mountain Lean-to where they spent the night. At day break, they hiked up and over Giant Mountain, and down the Ridge Trail to the Giant Mountain Trailhead along Route 73. After checking them out, Rangers gave the pair a ride back to the Adirondack Mountain Reserve. The incident concluded at 12:45 p.m.

Town of North Elba – High Peaks Wilderness
Lost Paddler: On August 20, 2015 at 11:54 a.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Franklin County 911 reporting a stranded paddler whose cell phone GPS coordinates indicated she was on Cold Brook near Owl Pond. The 25-year-old woman, from Saranac Lake, was headed to Lower Saranac Lake and got turned around after going through the locks on the Saranac River. After her canoe could go no further up Cold Brook she left it and began seeking a trail through the woods. Four DEC Forest Rangers responded by boat from the DEC Second Pond Boat Launch. They went to shore, followed the brook to her canoe and began tracking her. At 2:06 p.m. they obtained voice contact with her on the opposite side of Cold Brook from where she had left her canoe. They met up with her and escorted her back to her canoe. At 2:30 p.m. they escorted her back to the main channel in the Saranac River where she stated she could proceed on her own from there.

Town of North Elba – High Peaks Wilderness
Hikers in the Dark: On August 20, 2015 at 10:10 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a phone call to DEC Central Dispatch. The caller, a 48-year-old woman, reported that she and her companion, a 37-year-old man, both from Rome, NY, were stranded hikers at Indian Falls on the VanHoevenburg Trail. She said their flashlights were dead and they were unable to see the trail. A DEC Forest Ranger was dispatched to Marcy Dam with a UTV while an Assistant Forest Ranger at Marcy Dam hiked up to Indian Falls. The Assistant Forest Ranger reached the pair at around 1:30 a.m. and provided them with lights. She escorted the pair of hikers back to Marcy Dam at a slow pace due to physical problems the woman experienced. They arrived at Marcy Dam at 3:30 a.m. and the Forest Ranger transported them to the Adirondack Loj Trailhead concluding the incident at 4:00 a.m.

Town of Schroon – Pharaoh Lake Wilderness
Injured Hiker: On August 21, 2015 at 12:27 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance for a 52-year-old man from Middletown, NY, who had injured his lower leg while hiking down from the summit of Pharaoh Mountain. The hiker had attempted to continue down the mountain and further aggravated the injury. Nine DEC Forest Rangers and an Assistant Forest Ranger responded to the mountain. The first group met the injured hiker at 1:41 p.m. a short distance below the summit of Pharaoh Mountain. They stabilized his injury and carried him more than two miles to a waiting UTV. They transferred the hiker to the trailhead and then to the Schroon Lake Ambulance Squad, which took him to an area hospital for treatment. The incident concluded at 7:00 p.m.

Town of Keene – High Peaks Wilderness
Injured Hiker: On August 23, 2015 at 12:53 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call reporting an injured hiker on the col between Blueberry and Porter Mountains. The 28-year-old man from Keene, NY, had fallen, injuring his lower leg on a sharp rock. The injured man patched up the injury but was unsure if he could continue on his own back to the trailhead. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded. The first Ranger reached the injured hiker at 2:27 p.m. The Ranger assessed the injury and provided additional medical attention. The second Forest Ranger arrived a short time later and joined the first in assisting the injured hiker back to Marcy Field at 5:30 p.m. The hiker declined further medical treatment.

Hamilton County
Town of Arietta – West Canada Lakes Wilderness
Camper Stricken: On August 22, 2015 at 9:53 a.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call reporting an 18-year-old woman from New York, NY with a previous medical condition was very ill and in need of assistance. The woman was with a group from Hamilton College at the West Canada Creek Lake Lean-to, on the shores of Mud Lake, along the Northville-Placid Trail. Four DEC Forest Rangers responded to the area. Two of the Rangers drove UTVs to the lean-to while another Forest Ranger accompanied an Adirondack Life Flight Paramedic on a helicopter from the State Police Aviation Unit stationed at Lake Clear Airport. The Forest Ranger on the helicopter scouted for a suitable landing zone nearby. A spot was located 200 yards from the lean-to on the shoreline of the lake. The paramedic, with assistance from a Forest Ranger, evaluated the young woman and determined she was in medical distress. They escorted her to the helicopter, which flew her to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake for treatment. The incident concluded at 12:56 p.m.

Town of Long Lake – High Peaks Wilderness
Camper Stricken: On August 22, 2015 at 10:16 a.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call seeking assistance for a 40-year-old man from Ridgefield Park, NJ, with a medical emergency. The man was at Rodney Point Lean-to on the shores of Long Lake along the Northville-Placid Trail. A DEC Forest Ranger and a State Police Trooper traveled by boat to the lean-to. The man was provided basic treatment and then assisted to the boat. The Rangers transported him to the DEC Long Lake Boat Launch and then to a Long Lake Rescue Squad ambulance, which transported him to the Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake for treatment. The incident concluded at 12:45 p.m.

Town of Indian Lake – Siamese Ponds Wilderness
Injured Hiker: On August 23, 2015 at 12:35 p.m., the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a hiker with a possible lower leg injury at Chimney Mountain. Four DEC Forest Rangers responded with Hamilton County Sheriffs Deputies, NY State Police Troopers, Indian Lake Volunteer Fire Department members and Indian Lake Volunteer ambulance members. The 62-year-old woman from Syracuse, NY slipped and injured her leg while descending the Chimney Mountain Trail. Rescue crews transferred her to the Indian lake Volunteer Ambulance at 3:30 p.m., which transported her to the Glens Falls Hospital.

Warren County
Town of Lake George – Lake George Wild Forest
Injured Hiker: On August 20, 2015 at 3:52 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance for a hiker on Prospect Mountain with a lower leg injury. The 62-year-old man from Queensbury, NY, sustained the injury while hiking on the trail up the mountain. A Forest Ranger responded and located the injured hiker about 100 feet off the Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway, being assisted by other hikers. The Forest Ranger assisted him to the highway where an emergency medical technician from the Lake George Emergency Squad Ambulance examined him. The incident concluded at 5:04 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: 8/3 – 8/9/15

August 12th, 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 Jay
Lost Biker: On August 9, 2015 at 5:02 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC Ray Brook Dispatch from a 42-year-old male biker from St. Basile Le Grande, Quebec, lost and injured somewhere off Jay Mountain Road in the Jay Mountain Wilderness. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded to the Seventy Mountain area of the Jay Mountain Wilderness. DEC Dispatch advised the biker to shout so he could be located. Forest Rangers located him at 7:05 p.m. He reported he was biking in Elizabethtown with his brother whose bike had a mechanical failure. The man planned to bike back to the private campground in Wilmington where they were staying so that he could return with a car, but the GPS directions he followed got him lost. Forest Rangers transported the man back to the campground in Wilmington at 8:30 p.m.

Franklin County
Town of Franklin – Taylor Pond Wild Forest/Easement Lands
Lost kayaker: On August 9, 2015 at 7:44 a.m., DEC Central Dispatch received a call reporting a 40-year-old male kayaker from Ballston Spa, NY, became lost while paddling on Union Falls Pond. The female caller reported that she received a text from the kayaker at 6:30 p.m. on August 8, indicating he was lost. At 9:30 p.m. she received a second text from the man saying he was on Franklin Falls Flow where he planned to spend the night as he did not have a flashlight or map. She called for help after not receiving any further communication. Four DEC Forest Rangers, a DEC Assistant Forest Ranger, a DEC Backcountry Steward and New York State Police began a search but could not find the kayaker after an extensive search of the waterway and woods along the shore. At 11:56 a.m. the kayaker called Franklin County 911 and they obtained coordinates for his location. Searchers followed those coordinates and located the kayaker at 12:17 p.m. on the east shore of Union Falls Pond. Forest Rangers evaluated his health before transporting him by boat back to his vehicle at 1 p.m.

Hamilton County
Town of Indian Lake – West Canada Lakes Wilderness
Overdue hikers: On August 9, 2015 at 12:30 a.m., DEC Central Dispatch received a call reporting a 26-year-old man and 24-year-old woman from West Islip, NY, were one day overdue while hiking in the West Canada Lakes. Three DEC Forest Rangers responded and located the pair’s vehicle at the Pillsbury Mountain Trailhead. The Rangers searched the trails leading from the trailhead and eventually located the pair in good condition near Sampson Lake. The hikers reported that while hiking on the Northville Placid Trail on the first day they mistakenly turned off onto the West Canada Lakes Trail toward the Moose River Plains. They encountered another hiker who advised them they were heading in the wrong direction, so they turned around and hiked back to Brook Trout Lake where they spent the night. They continued hiking on the second day and made it to Sampson Lake where they spent a second night. The Forest Rangers escorted them back to the trailhead, arriving at their vehicle at 9:00 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: 7/20-7/26/15

July 28th, 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 Commissioner Joe Martens. “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
Distressed hiker: On July 19, 2015 at 10:50 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiker requesting assistance for her companion who was in distress near Marcy Dam after hiking Mt. Marshall. The 45-year-old woman from Baltimore, MD suddenly became ill. Ray Brook Dispatch texted the reporting party, who informed them that the pair were 10 minutes from the Yellow Trail in Algonquin, close to the Adirondack Loj. DEC Forest Rangers met the women on the trail and provided fluids to the woman in distress. The Rangers escorted her to the ADK Loj and put her into an ambulance, which took her to AMC Lake Placid for treatment. The incident concluded at 12:30 a.m. on July 20.

Town of Keene – Giant Mountain Wilderness
Injured hiker: On July 25, 2015 at 2:15 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a report of an injured hiker at the Junction of Roaring Brook Falls. The 39-year-old woman from Latham, NY was alert and making her way down the trail with the assistance of friends. DEC Forest Rangers responded to Giant Ridge Trailhead and encountered the group 1.25 miles up the trail. They evaluated the woman, administered first aid and escorted her out. She told them she would seek medical attention on her own. The incident concluded at 5:30 p.m.

Town of Keene – High Peaks Wilderness
Distressed hiker: On July 25, 2015 at 3:45 p.m., the Keene Valley Fire Department requested assistance from DEC Forest Rangers for a dehydrated woman at Rainbow Falls. Rangers and members of the Keene Valley Fire Department escorted the woman out through the Adirondack Mountain Reserve Property to a waiting Keene Valley Ambulance. The Ambulance transported her to Elizabethtown Hospital for treatment. The incident concluded at 4:30 p.m.

Town of North Elba – High Peaks Wilderness
Distressed hiker: On July 25, 2015 at 3:40 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from the Wright Summit Steward reporting a 56-year-old female hiker from Paris, France in medical distress near the Wright and Algonquin Junction. The Wright Summit Steward conducted a medical assessment, while a DEC Forest Ranger headed to the scene. Once the Ranger arrived, they requested a helicopter and placed it on standby while they organized a hoist operator and advanced medical care. However, the woman’s condition improved after a short time and she managed to walk with assistance. An assistant Forest Ranger then transported her to her car where she declined any further medical treatment. The incident concluded at 7:00 p.m.

Town of North Elba – High Peaks Wilderness
Injured hiker: On July 26, 2015 at 5:35 p.m., the Marcy Dam Interior Outpost caretaker contacted DEC Ray Brook requesting assistance for an injured female hiker. The 26-year-old woman from Elkhart, IN fell in Avalanche Pass. A DEC Assistant Forest Ranger assisted her to Marcy Dam where another Ranger waited on a Utility-Terrain Vehicle. The DEC Ranger transported the woman to the Adirondack Loj at 6:53 p.m., where she declined further medical treatment.

Town of Chesterfield – Private Land
Lost minors: On July 21, 2015 at 8:25 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a home owner on Butternut Pond reporting his neighbor’s two teenage boys from Mont-Hillaire, QC, CA had been missing for the past six hours. At approximately 2:30 p.m. the teenagers went for a walk, but had not yet returned. DEC Forest Rangers and volunteers from the Keeseville Fire Department responded to the location. At 9:02 p.m., a responding Forest Rangers located the pair walking the road in good condition. The teens hiked around Butternut Pond and became lost on the network trails. They hiked approximately 12 miles before coming out onto State Route 9N in the Town of Chesterfield. The Ranger transported the teens back to their camp and to their parents without further incident. The incident concluded at 10:30 p.m.

Hamilton County
Town of Inlet – Moose River Plains Wild Forest
Lost hikers: On July 26, 2015 at 2:06 p.m., Herkimer County 911 contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch reporting two lost hikers on Black Bear Mountain. The 20-year-old women from Rome, NY were hiking on ski trail when they decided to head to the top. Two DEC Forest Rangers located the women at 3:57 p.m. after following GPS coordinates provided by 911. The Rangers then escorted the women out to the trailhead.

Herkimer County
Town of Webb – Fulton Chain Wild Forest
Injured hiker: On July 26, 2015 at 2:11 p.m., Herkimer County 911 contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch requesting assistance for a 70-year-old woman from Slingerlands, NY who sustained a leg injury while hiking Bald Mountain. Three DEC Forest Rangers and an Assistant Ranger responded with New York State Police, Town of Webb Police Department and Old Forge Rescue Squad to carry the hiker out. An ambulance met them at the trailhead and transported the woman to a hospital in the Utica area. The incident concluded at 4:22 p.m.

Saratoga County
Town of Hadley – Wilcox Lake Wild Forest
Injured hiker: On July 26, 2015 at 1:50 p.m., Warren County 911 contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a 42-year-old female hiker from Ballston Spa, NY with a lower leg injury on the Hadley Mountain fire tower trail. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded with the Hadley-Luzerne Rescue Squad and carried the hiker out to the trailhead. The rescue squad then transported her to Glens Falls Hospital. The incident concluded at 3:20 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: 7/13-7/19/15

July 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 DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “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 Wilmington – McKenzie Mountain Wilderness
Injured hiker: On July 13, 2015 at 11:50 a.m., DEC Central Dispatch received a call reporting an injured hiker at the summit of Whiteface Mountain. The 26-year-old woman from New Jersey slipped while attempting to seek shelter from a thunderstorm. DEC Forest Rangers responded, assessed her at the scene and placed her in a litter for carry-out to an established landing zone. At 2:20 p.m. New York Police Aviation flew her to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake for further medical treatment. The incident concluded at 3:30 p.m.

Town of Keene – High Peaks Wilderness
Injured hiker: On July 16, 2015 at 4:00 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from North Country Camps reporting one of its camp counselors had sustained a lower leg injury and was unable to continue back down Noonmark Mountain. The 21-year-old woman from Greenup, KY, accompanied by another counselor and four children, became injured 1.5 miles from the trailhead. DEC Forest Rangers responded, assessed the woman and placed her in a litter for carry-out to an established landing zone. New York State Police Aviation flew her to Marcy Field and transferred her to Keene Valley Rescue. Keene Valley Rescue transported the woman to Elizabethtown Hospital for treatment. The incident concluded at 7:00 p.m.

Town of Keene – Adirondack Mountain Reserve
Inured hiker: On July 18, 2015 at 2:10 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from the Adirondack Mountain Reserve requesting assistance for an injured hiker near Beaver Meadow Falls. The 67-year-old man from Salinas, CA sustained a lower leg injury and required assistance to hike out. DEC Forest Rangers responded and assisted the man to the intersection of the trail with Lake Road. From there, Rangers transported him to his residence on the Mountain Club Property. The man told them he would seek medical attention on his own. The incident concluded at 3:30 p.m.

Town of Keene – High Peaks Wilderness
Injured hiker: On July 19, 2015 at 5:30 p.m., a hiker contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch requesting assistance for his injured companion in the John’s Brook Valley. The 60-year-old companion from Saratoga Springs, NY had fallen and sustained multiple injuries. DEC Forest Rangers responded and located the men roughly 45 minutes in on the Southside trail. They stabilized the injured man and placed him in a litter for a carry-out by an All-Terrain Vehicle to a waiting ambulance. Keene Valley Rescue transported the man to Elizabethtown Hospital for treatment. The incident concluded at 10:30 p.m.

Hamilton County
Town of Long Lake – William C. Whitney Wilderness
Injured camper: On July 15, 2015 at 6:22 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Hamilton County 911 reporting an injured camper on Lake Lila. The 27-year-old man from Buffalo, NY had sustained an injury in a swimming accident. A DEC Forest Ranger and Long Lake EMS responded to the campsite. They assessed the man and determined he would need additional medical attention. The Forest Ranger and EMT transported him back to shore via boat and released him to a waiting ambulance for transport to the nearest medical center for treatment. The incident concluded at 8:25 p.m.

Washington County
Town of Fort Edward – Lake George Wild Forest
Lost hikers: On July 14, 2015 at 12:05 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from two lost hikers on Buck Mountain. The 17-year-old and 18-year-old females, both from Niskayuna, NY said they summited Buck Mountain and were possibly descending on the wrong trail. GPS Coordinates placed them on the west side of the mountain on the trail to Buck Mountain from Pilot Knob Road. A DEC Forest Ranger responded and met the women on the trail. He escorted them out and provided them with a ride back to their vehicle. The incident concluded at 2:15 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: 7/6-7/12/15

July 15th, 2015 · 2 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 Commissioner Joe Martens. “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 Ticonderoga – Pharaoh Lakes Wilderness
Lost Hiker: On July 6, 2015 at 12:25 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC Ray Brook Dispatch from a 54-year-old woman from Diamond Pond, NY who was lost on the Lost Pond Trail near Putnam Pond. Essex County managed to obtain GPS coordinates and the woman’s phone number despite spotty service. A Forest Ranger arrived at the trailhead at 1:00 p.m. Dispatch established text contact with the woman and told her to make noise as the Forest Ranger approached. At 1:23 p.m. the Forest Ranger made voice contact with the woman and located her. He escorted her back to her vehicle. The incident concluded at 1:51 p.m.

Town of North Elba – High Peaks Wilderness
Injured Hiker: On July 8, 2015 at 10:34 a.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call reporting an injured member of a hiking party on the trail to Algonquin. The 51-year-old woman from Belfont, PA sustained a lower leg injury and was unable to proceed. Dispatch contacted the Marcy Dam Caretaker to respond and complete an assessment. Additional DEC Forest Rangers also responded. At 11:04 a.m. the Marcy Dam caretaker reached the hiker, provided first aid and advised that a carryout would be necessary. At 11:57 a.m. three Rangers, an Assistant Forest Ranger and the Marcy Dam caretaker began the carryout just above the Whales Trail Junction. Two members of the injured hiker’s party also assisted. They carried her to the Whales Trail Junction and transferred her to an All-Terrain Vehicle for the remaining two-mile transport. Rangers released the injured hiker at the Adirondack Loj and she told them she would seek medical attention on her own. The incident concluded at 3:00 p.m.

Town of North Elba – McKenzie Mountain Wilderness
Injured Hiker: On July 8, 2015 at 10:38 a.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from the husband of a 56-year-old woman reporting the couple was hiking the trail to Haystack Mountain when she slipped on some wet roots and sustained a lower leg injury. DEC Forest Rangers responded and initiated a carry-out, bringing her back down to the trailhead. The incident concluded at 12:24 p.m.

Town of Wilmington – Wilmington Wild Forest
Injured Hiker: On July 10, 2015 at 7:56 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC Ray Brook Dispatch regarding an injured hiker on Esther Mountain. The 56-year-old woman from Rochester, NY slipped while descending the mountain and sustained a lower leg injury. Five DEC Forest Rangers responded to the GPS coordinates that Essex County 911 provided. Forest Rangers reached the woman at 10:30 p.m. They carried the hiker over a mile until she could be evacuated by an All-Terrain Vehicle to the Flume Trail in Wilmington. The Rangers released her to the Wilmington Rescue Squad at 12:58 a.m. and transported to Elizabethtown Community Hospital.

Town of North Elba – High Peaks Wilderness
Injured Hikers: On July 12, 2015 at 1:52 p.m., an Assistant Forest Ranger contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch about an injured 14-year-old girl from New York City at the junction of the Long and Short Trail at Mt. Jo. She sustained a lower leg injury and could not proceed. DEC Forest Rangers responded to the area to assist the girl out of the woods. When they arrived at 2:45 p.m., they discovered another injured girl, 12 years old, from New York City who needed assistance. Dispatch contacted the Lake Placid Ambulance Squad asking them to meet the group at the Adirondack Loj. At 3:37 p.m. all parties were out of the woods. They transported the 14-year-old girl to Lake Placid Adirondack Health Center. The 12-year-old told Rangers she would seek medical attention on her own with the assistance of a camp counselor.

Hamilton County
Town of Blue Mountain Lake – Blue Mountain Wild Forest
Injured Hiker: On July 9, 2015 at 4:48 p.m., a DEC Blue Mountain backcountry steward and a DEC Forest Ranger assisted a 56-year-old female hiker from Stanford, CT who sustained a lower leg injury on Blue Mountain. The hiker was able to walk out slowly on her own with assistance from the Forest Ranger and steward. They provided her with first aid and crutches. At 6:47 p.m. the woman returned to her vehicle and advised she would seek medical attention on her own.

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 6/10- 6/13/15

June 16th, 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 Commissioner Joe Martens. “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
McKenzie Mountain Wilderness – Town of Wilmington

Distressed hiker: On June 10, 2015 at 4:15 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a 37-year-old man from Hollywood, FL saying that he and his dog had become exhausted and could not continue to the summit of Whiteface Mountain. Ray Brook Dispatch advised him to call 911 to obtain his GPS coordinates. A DEC Forest Ranger responded with an ATV to the Connery Pond Trail and continued to Whiteface Landing where he talked to the man by phone. The Ranger met up with the hiker just south of the Whiteface lean-to and provided him with food and water before assisting him back to Whiteface Landing. The Forest Ranger then gave the man and his dog a ride back to the trailhead by ATV. The incident concluded at 8:00 p.m.

Hamilton County
Moose River Plains Wild Forest – Town of Indian Lake

Injured cyclists: On June 13, 2015 DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received reports of two bicycle accidents on Moose River Plains Road during the Adirondack Black Fly Challenge Bicycle Race. The first accident, which happened at 1:50 p.m., involved a 60-year-old man from Delmar, NY who was participating in the race. A DEC Forest Ranger responded and provided basic first aid until the Indian Lake EMS arrived on scene. Indian Lake EMS transported the man to a local medical facility. At 2:05 p.m., a 60-year-old male participant from New Hartford also crashed on Moose River Plains Road. A DEC Forest Ranger responded and provided basic first aid until the Inlet EMS arrived on scene and transported to the injured man to a local medical facility.

Washington County
Lake George Wild Forest – Town of Fort Ann

Distressed hiker: On June 11, 2105 at 3:47 p.m., Warren County 911 contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a 23-year-old woman from Wilton in medical distress on Buck Mountain. The hiking party was approximately 2 ½ miles from the Pilot Knob trailhead. Four DEC Forest Rangers responded along with the Pilot Knob and North Queensbury Fire Departments and EMS. Forest Rangers reached the woman at 4:50 p.m. Due to her health condition, New York State Police Aviation responded and transported her to the North Queensbury Fire Department at 6:30 p.m. From there, an ambulance transported her to Glens Falls Hospital.

Lake George Wild Forest – Town of Fort Ann

Injured emergency responders: On June 11, 2015 at 7:00 p.m., an ATV overturned on the Buck Mountain trail injuring two members of the North Queensbury Fire Department. The department members; a 75-year-old man from Boydton, VA and a 64-year-old man from Lake George, had been assisting in an earlier rescue. A carryout was necessary due to the extent of one of the injuries. DEC Forest Rangers and Fire Department members carried the more injured man to the trailhead and Lake George EMS transported him to Glens Falls Hospital at 9:25 p.m. The other man walked out on his own.

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: 6/1-6/7/15

June 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 Commissioner Joe Martens. “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
High Peaks Wilderness – Town of North Elba
Injured Hiker: On June 7, 2015 at 2:54 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a 76-year-old woman from Plattsburgh reporting she had sustained a lower leg injury while hiking Mt. Jo. DEC Forest Rangers, an Assistant Forest Ranger, and the Marcy Dam caretaker responded. They carried the hiker out to Mt. Jo trailhead at the Adirondack Loj, where the Lake Placid Rescue Squad transported her to Adirondack Medical Center in Lake Placid. The incident concluded at 4:30 p.m.

Franklin County
Town of Harrietstown – McKenzie Mountain Wilderness
Lost Hiker: On June 3, 2015 at 2:45 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a 22-year-old woman from Saranac Lake reporting she had become lost while hiking on Mt. Baker. DEC dispatch advised her to call 911 so that her GPS coordinates could be obtained. DEC Forest Rangers located the woman along the shoreline of McKenzie Pond in the vicinity of North Bay. A nearby homeowner transported her across McKenzie Pond. No further action was taken. The incident concluded at 5:30 p.m.

Town of Harrietstown – High Peaks Wilderness
Lost Hiker: On June 3, 2015 at 6:30 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call reporting two lost hikers on Ampersand Mountain. The 68-year-old man from Malone and 66-year-old woman from Winthrop become lost while descending the mountain. They had bushwhacked for approximately four hours before calling for help. DEC Forest Rangers responded, located the pair by a small stream near the base of the mountain and escorted them out without further incident. The incident concluded at 8:30 p.m.

Hamilton County
Town of Indian Lake – West Canada Lakes Wilderness
Distressed Hiker: On June 1, 2015 at 12:58 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from New York State Police Central Dispatch reporting a 15-year-old boy from Canastota in medical distress at the top of Snowy Mountain. DEC Forest Rangers responded and located the teen approximately one mile up the trail, hiking out under his own power. He called 911 after becoming separated from his brother. A short time later, he located his brother and they both hiked out without further incident. No further action was taken. The incident concluded at 4:00 p.m.

Herkimer County
Nicks Lake Campground – Town of Webb
Lost Hiker: On June 7, 2015 at 9:51 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch learned that a lost hiker had called Herkimer County 911 for help. One DEC Forest Ranger responded and located the 48-year-old woman from Monument County at 11:35 p.m. along Nicks Creek. The Forest Ranger escorted her back to her vehicle at the campground beach parking area. The Town of Webb Rescue Squad evaluated the woman and released her at 12:45 a.m.

Washington County
Lake George Wild Forest – Town of Fort Ann
Lost Hiker: On Wednesday, June 3, at 6:48 p.m. DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a report that a 13-year-old boy had become separated from a group of Washington County students on a class trip in the Shelving Rock Area of the Lake George Wild Forest, in the Town of Fort Ann, Washington County. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded to the area and began searching for the student who was last seen at 6:30 p.m. while the group was returning from Shelving Rock Mountain. However, prior to a search by Forest Rangers, the missing student had reached the road and flagged down a passing vehicle. The driver happened to be a member of the West Fort Ann Fire Department who was already responding to the incident. The driver transported the student to the Hogtown Parking Lot where he was examined by the Ft. Ann EMS and released. No further action was taken.

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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