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Entries Tagged as 'high peaks'

Snow in the Adirondacks This Weekend

October 21st, 2016 · No Comments · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoWEEKEND SNOW FORECAST: Weather forecasts vary but some weather services forecast accumulations of snow ranging from three inches to a foot this weekend throughout most of the Adirondacks.

  • The deepest snows are forecast for the Northwestern Adirondacks and the High Peaks region.
  • Moderate to deeper snow depths are forecast for the Western, Central (West & East), Northern and Northeastern Adirondacks.
  • Little to no snow is forecast for the Eastern and Southern Adirondacks.
  • Snow depths will be deeper in higher elevations.
  • Hikers should plan and prepare accordingly.




Rain, Snow, and Wind: Significant amounts of rain are forecast through the weekend with rain mixing with snow before changing to all snow as described above. Winds will get stronger through the weekend. Check the current National Weather Service Weather Forecast (leaves DEC website) and the National Weather Service NERFC Snow Page (leaves DEC website) for the latest snow information.
Snow Adirondack High Peaks

High Elevation Summits: Temperatures will be colder, winds will be stronger, and snow will be present and deeper than depths at trailheads on summits. Sight distance will be limited, sometimes significantly, when clouds cover the summits. Check the Mountain Point Forecasts (leaves DEC website) for selected summitsNational Weather Service Mountain Point Forecasts.

Trail Conditions: Trails will be wet and muddy through midday Saturday and then become a mix of water, mud, ice, and snow before becoming snow covered as described above.

  • Wet leaves, snow and ice will make for slippery trails – wear proper footwear and traction devices.
  • Snowshoes will be warranted late Saturday and on Sunday in the areas forecast to have moderate to deep snow cover, and in higher elevations.
  • Remain on trails. Walk through mud & water and on snow & ice to prevent further eroding trails and damaging trailside vegetation.

Avoid Hypothermia: The forecasted wet and cold weather provides ideal conditions for hypothermia.

  • Wear waterproof outer layers.
  • Wear layers of fleece, wool, and other non-cotton clothing.
  • Pack extra clothing including a fleece, wool or other non-cotton jacket or sweater.
  • Add or remove layers to maintain a comfortable body temperature.
  • Wear cold weather hat and gloves (or mittens).
  • Eat, drink and rest often.

Shorter Days: Autumn has arrived the sun sets earlier each day.

  • Sunset is around 6:00 pm, earlier in deep valleys and on northern and eastern facing slopes.
  • It will become darker sooner when skies are cloud covered.
  • Plan to return to the trailhead by sunset but
  • always carry a flashlight or headlamp just in case.

Blowdown: Blowdown (fallen or hanging trees, limbs, and branches) may be present on trails as winds strengthen, especially on trails in the higher elevations.

Courtesy of New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

More info at Adirondack Snow Conditions and Resources

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Fête de la Reine 2016 – Régions sauvages des Adirondacks

May 20th, 2016 · No Comments · Adirondack News

BIENVENUE A NOS VISITEURS CANADIENS

NYSDEC LogoLe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation accueille chaleureusement nos amis canadiens qui passent le week-end de la fête de la Reine à s’amuser dans les régions sauvages des Adirondacks. Nous vous offrons les informations suivantes pour vous assurer un séjour agréable et sûr pendant vos excursions de camping, de randonnée, de pagayer et de bâteau. Pour de plus amples renseignements, consultez Adirondack Backcountry Information


RISQUE DE FEU: modéré (sauf pour la région High Peaks où le risque est faible).

TERRAINS DE CAMPING: Tous les terrains de camping DEC sont ouverts.

VOIES D’ACCES: Les voies d’accès dans les régions sauvages sont souvent très rugueuses. Un véhicule 4X4 est recommandé. La majorité des voies d’accès sont ouvertes. Veuillez consulter le lien au-dessus pour savoir quelles voies/routes sont fermées.

RAMPES DE MISE A L’EAU: Toutes les rampes DEC sont ouvertes et les docks sont installés.

STATIONNEMENT/CAMPING: Le parking aux points de départ aussi bien que les terrains de camping intérieurs dans les régions sauvages des Eastern High Peaks, Dix Mountain et Giant Mountain sont souvent occupés à pleine capacité. Les visiteurs sont donc conseillés de faire des projets convenables (y compris de considérer un séjour dans d’autres régions des Adirondacks).

AVIS DE CONDITIONS BOUEUSES: Afin de protéger la flore et les sentiers qui sont très susceptibles au printemps, les randonneurs sont priés d’éviter les sentiers au-dessus de 2500 pieds de hauteur. La randonnée provoque des érosions très sévères sur les sentiers et endommagent la végétation. Les pistes raides, mouillés et boueuses sont aussi extrêmement glissantes. Pendant cette « saison de boue » les randonneurs sont conseillés de se servir des sentiers aux altitudes plus basses. More: DEC Alerts Hikers of Muddy Trail Conditions in The High Peaks

BOITES RESISTANTS AUX OURS: Les règles du DEC exigent que les campeurs qui passent la nuit dans le Eastern High Peaks Wilderness Area gardent leurs provisions dans une boîte résistante aux ours. En général, tous les campeurs sont conseillés de se servir de ces boîtes partout dans les Adirondacks.

POUR SE PROTÉGER CONTRE LES PIQURES D’INSECTES: Les mouches noires et les moustiques sont présentes. Pour éviter les piqûres, il est suggéré de :

  • Porter des vêtements de couleur pâle.
  • Porter un pantalon et une chemise à manches longues; rentrer la chemise dans le pantalon.
  • Fermer les manches au poignet.
  • Rentrer les bas du pantalon dans les chaussettes.
  • Apporter une moustiquaire pour la tête
    Utiliser un produit contre les insectes qui contient du « DEET »

ÉTAT DES EAUX: Le niveau des eaux est plutôt basse pour le printemps; les températures sont froides. Ceux qui font du kayak, du canöe, et du bâteau sont fortement conseillés de porter constamment un gilet de sauvetage.

FERMETURES DE VOIES D’ESCALADE (dû à la nidification des faucons pèlerins) :

  • Chapel Pond : Toutes les voies sur Lower et Upper Washbowl Cliffs.
  • Wilmington Notch : Toutes les voies sur Moss Cliff et Labor Day Wall.
  • Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain : Toutes les voies d’escalade sur la Main Face sont fermées sauf pour les voies entre et comprenant « Opposition » et « A Womb With A View ».
  • Crane Mountain: Toutes les voies dans Amphitheater sur Black Arches Wall.
  • Shelving Rock Mountain : Toutes les voies sur Big Wall et Jackass Buttress.

Nous vous souhaitons un séjour agréable dans les Adirondacks

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Victoria Weekend 2016 – Adirondack Backcountry Notice

May 20th, 2016 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Greetings to Our Canadian Friends

NYSDEC LogoThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation welcomes our Canadian friends who are celebrating the Victoria Day Holiday Weekend by visiting and recreating on the lands and waters of the Adirondack backcountry.


This information is provided to help you have a safe and enjoyable experience while you hike, camp, boat and paddle. Adirondack Backcountry Information provides more details.

FIRE DANGER: MODERATE, except in the High Peaks where it is Low

CAMPGROUNDS: All DEC campgrounds are open for the season.

SEASONAL ACCESS ROADS: Seasonal access roads used to access the backcountry can be rough, the use of 4-wheel drive pickup trucks, SUVs and other high clearance motor vehicles is recommended. Most seasonal access roads are open. Check the Adirondack Backcountry Information web pages using the link above for the few closed roads.

BOAT LAUNCHES: All DEC boat launches are open and docks are installed.

HIGH USAGE LEVELS: Trailhead parking lots and interior campsites will often fill to capacity in the Eastern High Peaks, Dix Mountain and Giant Mountain Wildernesses. Plan accordingly and seek backcountry recreation in other areas of the Adirondacks.

MUDDY TRAIL ADVISORY: Hikers are advised to avoid trails above 2,500 feet in the High Peaks Region to protect the trails and surrounding vegetation which are very vulnerable at this time of year. Hikers can cause severe erosion of trails and significant damage to vegetation. Steep, wet and muddy trails are also very slippery. Hikers are asked use low and mid-elevation trails at this time. More: DEC Alerts Hikers of Muddy Trail Conditions in The High Peaks

BITING INSECTS: Black Flies & Mosquitoes are present minimize the nuisance of biting insects by:

  • Wearing light colored long sleeve shirts and long pants
  • Tucking shirts into pants, buttoning or banding sleeves at the wrist, and tucking pant legs into socks.
  • Pack a head net to wear when insects are thick.
  • Use an insect repellant with DEET, follow label directions.

WATER CONDITIONS: Water levels are below average level for spring. Water temperatures are cool. Paddlers and boaters are encouraged to wear Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs, aka life jackets) at all times while on the water.

BEAR RESISTANT CANISTERS: The use of bear-resistant canisters by overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness and is encouraged throughout the Adirondacks.

ROCK CLIMBING ROUTE CLOSURES: Due to nesting Peregrine Falcons the following routes are closed:

  • Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain – All routes on the Main Face, except for the climbing routes between and including “Opposition” and “A Womb with a View”.
  • Chapel Pond – All routes on Lower Washbowl Cliffs.
  • Wilmington Notch – All routes on Moss Cliff and Labor Day Wall.
  • Crane Mountain – All routes within the Amphitheater on the Black Arches Wall.
  • Shelving Rock Mountain, Lake George – All routes on the Big Wall and Jackass Buttress.

Enjoy your visit to the Adirondacks!

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DEC Alerts Hikers of Muddy Trail Conditions in The High Peaks

May 5th, 2016 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Hikers Should Temporarily Avoid High Elevation Trails in the Adirondacks

NYSDEC LogoAs a new season of outdoor hiking and recreation on public lands in the Adirondacks approaches the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) urges hikers to be cautious and postpone hikes on trails above 2,500 feet until high elevation trails have dried and hardened.



Spring conditions arrived early and are present throughout the State and the lower elevations of the Adirondacks. However, backcountry trails in the higher elevations are still covered in slowly melting ice. These often steep trails become a mix of ice and mud making them slippery and vulnerable to erosion by hikers as the ice melts and frost leaves the ground.

DEC asks hikers to help avoid damage to hiking trails and sensitive high elevation vegetation by avoiding trails above 2,500 feet, particularly high elevation trails in the Dix, Giant, and High Peaks Wilderness Areas in the northern Adirondacks. Please avoid the following trails until trail conditions improve:

  • High Peaks Wilderness Area – all trails above 2,500 feet; where wet, muddy, snow conditions still prevail, specifically: Algonquin, Colden, Feldspar, Gothics, Indian Pass, Lake Arnold Cross-Over, Marcy, Marcy Dam – Avalanche – Lake Colden which is extremely wet, Phelps Trail above John Brook Lodge, Range Trail, Skylight, Wright and all “trail-less” peaks.
  • Dix Mountain Wilderness Area – all trails above Elk Lake and Round Pond
  • Giant Mountain Wilderness Area – all trails above Giant’s Washbowl, “the Cobbles,” and Owls Head.

Hikers are advised to only use trails at lower elevations as they usually dry soon after snowmelt and traverse deeper, less erosive soils DEC suggests the following alternative trails for hiking, subject to weather conditions:

High Peaks Wilderness:

  • Ampersand Mountain
  • Owls Head
  • Mt. VanHoevenberg
  • Mt. Jo

Giant Mt. Wilderness:

  • Giant’s Washbowl
  • Roaring Brook Falls
  • Owl’s Head Lookout

Hurricane Mountain Wilderness

  • The Crows
  • Hurricane Mtn from Rt 9N

Jay Mountain Wilderness

  • Jay Mtn

McKenzie Mt. Wilderness:

  • Baker Mountain
  • Haystack Mountain
  • McKenzie Mountain

Saranac Lakes Wild Forest:

  • Panther Mountain
  • Scarface Mountain
  • Floodwood Mountain

A full list of recommended mud season hikes can be found on DEC’s website. DEC’s website also contains information on trail conditions in the Adirondacks.

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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: 8/10-8/16/15

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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