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Entries Tagged as 'high peaks'

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: 8/10-8/16/15

August 18th, 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 Keene – Giant Mountain Wilderness
Injured hiker: On August 11, 2015 at 5:10 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance for a 20-year-old woman with a head injury at the top of Roaring Brook Falls. The woman’s companion reported that she was currently resting in her tent but needed help. DEC Forest Rangers responded to Roaring Brook Falls, located the woman at 6 p.m. and carried her down to a waiting Keene Valley Ambulance. The ambulance transported her to Elizabethtown Hospital for treatment. The incident concluded at 7:15 p.m.

Town of Newcomb – High Peaks Wilderness
Distressed hikers: On August 11, 2015 at 12:21 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a woman on a satellite phone reporting she and her group of six people were stuck on Hanging Spear Falls, which they had accessed through the Flowed Lands. The group from SUNY Cortland’s Camp Huntington consisted of three men and three women ranging in age from 21 to 27. DEC Forest Rangers hiked the two miles into Hanging Spear Falls and found the six individuals trapped at the base of the falls. Rangers used a system of rope riggings and harnesses to bring each person out of the canyon and to the top of the falls where they were given blankets to stay warm. Once rescued, Rangers released the group back to their campsite. The entire rescue operation lasted eight hours. The incident concluded at 8:30 p.m.

Town of North Elba – High Peaks Wilderness
Injured hiker: On August 15, 2015 at 1:18 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance for an injured 19-year-old man from State College, PA at the Upper Phelps junction. One DEC Forest Ranger, one Assistant Forest Ranger, and a Summit Steward responded to organize a carry out plan. As the carry out was prepared, the weather broke and Forest Rangers decided the best course of action was a hoist evacuation by helicopter. One Forest Ranger was inserted and prepped the man to be hoisted out at 4:00 p.m. He was transported to AMC Saranac Lake for treatment at 5:06 p.m. The incident concluded at 5:30 p.m.

Town of Keene – High Peaks Wilderness
Injured hiker: On August 15, 2015 at 5:15 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from John’s Brook Outpost reporting an injured 60-year-old New York woman located one mile up from the Slant Rock Junction on the Shorty Short Trail in John’s Brook Valley. An Assistant Forest Ranger responded from John’s Brook outpost. The Ranger hiked all the way to the junction of Basin and Haystack but could not locate the injured hiker. Two additional Forest Rangers were dispatched at 6:15 p.m. to travel by ATV to John’s Brook to follow the Assistant Forest Ranger towards Slant Rock Lean-to. Another hiking party later reported that the injured woman was not on the Shorty Short trail but was above the Slant Rock Lean-to on the red trail (Phelps) but before the Little Haystack/Little Marcy Junction. The Assistant Forest Rangers located the woman at 9:35 p.m. Rangers evaluated and stabilized her with a plan to hoist her out by helicopter at first light. On Sunday morning, New York State Police Aviation and Forest Rangers managed to extract the woman and transported her to AMC Saranac Lake without further incident.

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 (May 31 incidents)

June 2nd, 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 North Elba
Lost Hiker: On May 31, 2015 at 3 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a 36-year-old female from Syracuse who had lost the trail while descending from the summit at Scarface Mountain. She had bushwhacked down the mountain, but still could not locate the trail. DEC advised her to contact Essex County 911, which could obtain her GPS coordinates. Once her location was established, DEC Forest Rangers determined she was going in the wrong direction, but was close to a seasonal camp road. DEC provided her with a new directional bearing to reach the camp road where she was met by the responding Forest Rangers. The Rangers escorted her down the road and then drove her to her vehicle at the Scarface Mountain trailhead. The incident concluded at 4:30 p.m.

Feldspar Brook – Town of North Elba
Missing Hiker: On May 31, 2015, several DEC Forest Rangers assisted in the search and recovery of a missing female hiker in the Feldspar Brook area. Information on this incident is available at: New York State Police website.

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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DEC Forest Rangers Rescue Two Overdue Hikers Following Overnight Search on Mt. Marcy

January 23rd, 2015 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Visitors to the High Peaks Reminded to Fully Prepare for Winter Conditions

NYSDEC LogoOn January 20th at 1:33 a.m., State Police advised the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Central Dispatch of two overdue hikers in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness in the Town of Keene, Essex County. The 21-year-old hikers, a male and a female from Quebec, Canada, had signed in at the Adirondack Loj to hike Mt. Marcy for the day but did not return as scheduled.

Fourteen DEC Forest Rangers responded to the incident. One team traveled through more than three feet of snow and reached the tree line of Mt. Marcy just before 7 a.m. Additional teams approached the area from the Panther Gorge, Johns Brook Valley and Newcomb entrances.


At 8:25 a.m., the Forest Rangers on Mt. Marcy located fresh tracks leading from the south side of the Marcy bowl into Panther Gorge, a remote, steep, crag-filled area of the High Peaks where overnight temperatures had dropped below zero degrees Fahrenheit. Based on this information, a helicopter from the State Police Aviation Unit in Lake Clear was called in to assist with the search. Half an hour later, the helicopter crew, which included a Forest Ranger, spotted the hikers walking in the direction of Marcy Swamp. The helicopter inserted the ranger to the location to assess the hikers’ well-being. The Ranger determined both were in good health.

The hikers reported they had become disoriented on the summit of Mt. Marcy. They then bushwhacked into Panther Gorge, where they spent the night with a fire to keep warm. At first light, they followed a drainage and eventually crossed the Elk Lake-Marcy trail.

Forest Rangers escorted the hikers to Elk Lake, where they were reunited with family members at 2 p.m.

The pair of hikers did not have skis or snowshoes, a map, compass or GPS unit with them. DEC strongly urges all hikers and backcountry recreational visitors to the High Peaks and other areas to carry this equipment and follow the safety guidelines below.

Wear proper clothing and equipment for snow, ice and cold to ensure a safe and enjoyable winter experience. Also, be aware that snow depths range from 6 to 20 inches or more. The deepest snows are in the eastern Adirondacks with thinner depths in the western portion. Snow depths are deeper in the higher elevations like the High Peaks and other mountains over 3,000 feet.

Visitors to the Eastern High Peaks should use snowshoes or cross-country skis for their safety when snow is 8 inches or deeper. Visitors to other Adirondack lands are encouraged to do so for their safety and the safety of other backcountry users. Snowshoes or skis ease travel on snow and prevent “post holing,” which can ruin trails and cause sudden falls resulting in injuries. Ice crampons also should be carried to use on icy mountaintops and other exposed areas.

In addition, backcountry visitors should follow these safety guidelines:

  • Dress properly with layers of wool and fleece (NOT COTTON!) clothing: a wool or fleece hat, gloves or mittens, wind/rain resistant outer wear, and winter boots.
  • Carry a day pack with the following contents: Ice axe, plenty of food and water, extra clothing, map and compass, first-aid kit, flashlight/headlamp, sun glasses, sun-block protection, ensolite pads, stove and extra fuel, and bivy sack or space blankets.
  • Carry plenty of food and water. Eat, drink and rest often. Being tired, hungry or dehydrated makes you more susceptible to hypothermia.
  • Check weather before entering the woods – if the weather is poor, postpone your trip.
  • Be aware of weather conditions at all times – if the weather worsens, head out of the woods.
  • Know the terrain and your physical capabilities – it takes more time and energy to travel through snow.
  • Never travel alone and always inform someone of your intended route and return time.
  • Traveling through snow takes more energy and time than hiking the same distance, especially in freshly fallen snow. Plan trips accordingly.

Call the DEC Forest Ranger Emergency Dispatch at 518-891-0235 to report lost or injured people or other backcountry emergencies.

Prior to heading out, people are encouraged to consult the DEC Adirondack Trail Information web page, which provides current trail condition information and links to current weather, snow cover and other important information to help ensure a safe and enjoyable Adirondack backcountry winter experience.

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Adirondack Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights: 1/5/15-01/11/15

January 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 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:

High Peaks Wilderness
Essex County, Town of Keene

Distressed Hiker: On January 10 at 2:53 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a distressed hiker on the trail to Dial Mountain. The 51-year-old male of Honeoye Falls, NY stated he was unable to continue down the trail but was otherwise uninjured. Essex County 911 provided his location coordinates to Dispatch. Eight DEC Forest Rangers responded, along with New York State Police Aviation who placed a Forest Ranger at the summit of Dial Mountain. Rangers located the hiker uninjured but in need of medical attention. He was hydrated, warmed up and escorted down the mountain. Additional Forest Rangers met the hiker at the trailhead and transported him by snowmobile down Lake Road where he was evaluated by the Keene Valley Fire and Rescue Squad and released at 8:30 p.m. Back Country Rescue assisted in the rescue.

Dix Wilderness
Essex County, Town of Newcomb

Lost Hikers: On January 11 at 9:04 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call requesting assistance for two hikers lost on Santanoni Mountain. A 32-year-old male of Schenectady, NY and a 51-year-old male of Amsterdam NY, said they were following a stream down the Express Trail and believed they were .3 miles from Bradley Pond. Three DEC Forest Rangers responded to the Upper Work with one Forest Ranger proceeding in by snowmobile. Rangers located the hikers a few miles in at 10:45 p.m. in good condition. Rangers transported the party out by snowmobile and arrived at the trailhead at 11:20 p.m.

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

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Adirondack Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights: 12/1-12/7/14

December 9th, 2014 · 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
Eastern High Peaks Wilderness, Town of North Elba
Lost Hiker: On December 6, 2014 at 4:23 p.m., a supervisor at the 1st Air Force contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch and reported the activation of a personal locator beacon with coordinates near the summit of Algonquin at 3:55 p.m. A 21-year-old male from Vestal, NY left the Adirondack Loj at 11:00 a.m. to hike Algonquin. While at the summit, he slid into deep snow and became disoriented. He lost the trail in poor visibility and activated his locator beacon. He called 911 several times, but due to limited cell phone coverage, his coordinates were unavailable and his calls were unsuccessfully transferred to DEC Dispatch. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded to the coordinates provided by the locator beacon. Rangers located the hiker at 8:15 p.m. and escorted him back to the Loj at 10:15 p.m. 1st Air Force and Essex County 911 assisted in the search.

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

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High Peaks of the Adirondacks

November 20th, 2014 · 3 Comments · Miscellania

High Peaks of the Adirondacks (1884)
(click, then click the arrow to zoom)

Source

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