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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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New State Regulations Target Aquatic Invasive Species

June 5th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Boaters Using DEC Lands to Launch Boats or Other Watercraft Are Now Required To Clean and Drain Boats Prior to Launch

NYSDEC LogoAs part of an aggressive effort to prevent invasive species from entering and damaging New York water bodies, the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today adopted new regulations that require boaters to remove all visible plant and animal materials from boats, trailers and associated equipment, and to drain boats prior to launching from DEC lands.

The regulations, which are effective today, pertain to all DEC boat launches, fishing access sites and other DEC lands where watercraft such as boats, kayak or canoes, can be launched into the water.

“New York State continues to work with its state, local, federal and environmental partners to protect water bodies from destructive invasive species,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. “Boats, trailers and associated equipment are common pathways for spreading aquatic invasive species. These new regulations will help reinforce the message that boaters need to clean their equipment of any clinging plant and animal materials and drain their boats prior to launching at lands administered by DEC.”

Boaters should take the following steps to ensure that their boat, trailer and equipment are free of aquatic invasive species:

  • Visually inspect the boat, trailer and other fishing and boating equipment and remove all mud, plants and other organisms that might be clinging to it. Materials should be disposed of in one of the Nuisance Invasive Species Disposal Stations installed at many DEC boat launches, in the trash or at an upland location away from the launch ramp.
  • Drain the boat’s bilge and any other water holding compartments such as live wells, bait wells and bilge tanks. This does not apply to water associated with sanitary systems or drinking water supplies.

Drying boats is also highly recommended but is not required under the new regulations. Boaters who are unable to dry their boats between uses should flush the bilge and other water holding compartments with water, preferably at a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Microscopic larval forms of aquatic invasive species, such as zebra mussels and spiny waterflea, can live in as much as a drop of water. To ensure that these organisms are not accidentally spread, anything holding water should be dried, flushed or disinfected with hot water to ensure that these aquatic invasive species are not spread. Additional information on AIS and disinfection recommendations can be found at: Prevent the Spread of Aquatic Invasives.

The new regulations are available at: Proposed Regulations.

Boaters intending to boat on Lake George this year are also reminded that the Lake George Park Commission has enacted new regulations that require all boats to be inspected for aquatic invasive species prior to use. Additional information on this new mandatory boat inspection program can be found at: www.lgboatinspections.com.

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New York State Police investigate fatal rafting accident

September 28th, 2012 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Guide was intoxicated

New York State PoliceOn September 27, 2012, at approximately 12:00 p.m., New York State Police from Indian Lake and Ray Brook responded to Chain Lakes Road in the town of Indian Lake for a report of a missing rafter. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation personnel, as well as members of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department, Indian Lake rescue squad, and Indian Lake Fire Department also responded to assist in the investigation.

Investigation revealed that Rory F. Fay, age 37, of North Creek, New York, was operating a raft on the Indian River as a New York State licensed guide, employed by the Hudson River Rafting Company. Fay had two passengers in the raft with him who were identified as Richard J. Clar, age 53, and Tamara F. Blake, age 53, both of Colombus, Ohio. At approximately 10:20 a.m., and while on the Indian River, Fay and Blake were ejected from the raft in whitewater conditions. Clar was able to stay within the raft and eventually steer it to the shoreline. Fay was able to swim to the shoreline. Clar and Fay walked to Chain Lakes Road where they were able to obtain assistance. Blake was unable to be located and authorities were notified.

New York State Police Aviation was utilized to search the river and Blake’s body was discovered approximately five miles down stream in the Hudson River. Essex County Coroner Walter Marvin Jr. authorized transport of Blake’s body by State Police and NYS DEC personnel to Chain Lakes Road. Marvin transported the body to the Adirondack Medical Center Morgue in Saranac Lake, New York, for an autopsy scheduled to be conducted on September 28, 2012.

State Police determined that Rory Fay was intoxicated while transporting Clar and Blake on the rafting trip. State Police consulted with Hamilton County District Attorney Marsha Purdue and Fay was arrested for Criminally Negligent Homicide regarding the death of Blake. Fay was subsequently arraigned before Indian Lake Town Justice Judy Durken and remanded to the Hamilton County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail or $100,000 bond.

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Governor Cuomo Hiked, Canoed, and Fished

September 26th, 2012 · No Comments · News

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ADK Trail Workers Heading to Southern Adirondacks for National Trails Day

May 15th, 2012 · No Comments · Adirondack News

CAROGA LAKE, NY – Dozens of Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) volunteers will be heading to the southern Adirondacks for National Trails Day on Saturday, June 2.

Adirondack Mountain ClubUnder the leadership of ADK’s trail professionals, volunteers will work on trail maintenance projects in the Ferris Lake and Shaker Mountain wild forests near Caroga Lake. Workers will clear drainage ditches, trim brush, remove blown-down trees and perform other maintenance work on six hiking trails.

In conjunction with the trail maintenance projects, ADK Foothills Chapter is hosting three days (June 1-3) of hikes and paddles in the area, a golf tournament, information booths and other events. The Foothills Chapter, established in 2010, has more than 100 members in the Gloversville/Johnstown area.

“We hope this event will focus attention on the great hiking opportunities in the southern Adirondacks,” said Foothills Chapter Chair Jody Rothmeyer. “This beautiful and easily accessible region is often overlooked by hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts who flock to more popular areas like the High Peaks.”

National Trails Day is a nationwide celebration of trails that was founded by the American Hiking Society in 1993. ADK and its chapters have been involved in National Trails Day since its inception.

ADK’s sponsors and partners for NTD 2012 include Nathan Littauer Hospital, Home Buyers Best Realty, Adirondack Backpacking Supply, RMG Enterprises, Livingston’s Furniture, The Shults Agency, ADK Onondaga Chapter, Cooperstown Brewing Co., Butternuts Beer & Ale, the town of Caroga Lake, Fulton County Chamber of Commerce, Finger Lakes Trail Conference, North Country Trail Association, Duncraven Farms Dairy, Granny’s Ice Cream, Wild River Press, REI, SEALS and DEC Region 5.

A full list of ADK’s National Trails Day trail projects and events is available on the Club’s website at www.carogalake.com.

The Adirondack Mountain Club, founded in 1922, is the oldest and largest organization dedicated to the protection of the New York State Forest Preserve. ADK is a nonprofit, membership organization that protects the Forest Preserve, state parks and other wild lands and waters through conservation and advocacy, environmental education and responsible recreation.

More: National Trails Day Events – New York and FAQs

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St Regis Canoe Area – Columbus Weekend

October 5th, 2011 · No Comments ·

Blackpool, QC (Border) to Long Pond Parking Area via St Regis Canoe Outfitters

(A – Border, B – Outfitters, C – Long Pond Parking)


View Larger Map

Plan

Friday – Arrive Park at the Long Pond Parking Area which is West of the St Regis Canoe Outfitters on Floodwood Rd. There is a short portage up-and-over from the parking lot.

Javier and I will go early to grab a campsite. We’re targeting the Northern portion of Long Pond to find a site. Last trip w/ Ingrid/David family, I think we had site #10 – we’ll try for that again. If not available, we’ll try for #s 11, 13, 12, 8, 7, 6, and 5. If none of those are available, we’ll work our way back toward the put-in. If we are able, we’ll leave a message at the car or at the outfitters. Not sure of cell reception, but I will have my phone with me. Also considering walkie-talkies, but that may be counter-productive as it may add to the technological complications.

Here’s a map of Long Pond (click to view, scroll to zoom):
Long Pond Campsites

Saturday Spend the day paddling, eating, and probably drinking.

Sunday – Depart

St Regis Canoe Outfitters
Floodwood Base
Floodwood Rd at Long Pond Portage
Lake Clear, New York
518-891-8040

Weather Forecast – NWS – “Nippy” nights….

Downloads
Long Pond Campsites Map (PDF)
St Regis Pond Campsites Map (PDF)

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