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For Release: Tuesday, September 8, 2015

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

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

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

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

Clinton County

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

Essex County

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

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

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

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

Herkimer County

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

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

  • Contact for this Page
  • David Winchell
    1115 NYS Route 86
    P.O. Box 296
    Ray Brook, NY 12977
    518-897-1248
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