Monday, August 8, 2016

Recent Adirondack Forest Ranger Missions

DEC Forest RangerNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents in the Adirondacks. 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 Adirondack backcountry.

What follows is a report, prepared by DEC, of recent missions carried out by Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks.

Essex County

Town of North Elba
High Peaks Wilderness
Lost hiker: On July 28, 2016 at 2:37 pm, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a 23-year-old man from Rochester, NY reporting he was lost on a trial to a pond between Whiteface Mountain and Lake Placid. He did not know a more specific location and phone coordinates obtained by 911 proved unreliable. The man provided a description of his vehicle and a DEC Forest Ranger located it at the Connery Pond Trailhead. As the Forest Ranger hiked in he spotted the man on the trail and escorted him back to his vehicle. The incident concluded at 4:28 pm.

Town of North Elba
High Peaks Wilderness
Injured hiker: On July 29, 2016 at 11:07 pm, DEC Central Dispatch transferred a call to DEC Ray Brook Dispatch requesting assistance for an injured 11-year-old girl from Dexter, NY. She was three miles up the Algonquin trail from Adirondack Loj with a non-weight bearing lower-leg injury. DEC Forest Rangers, Assistant Forest Rangers and the Marcy Dam Caretaker responded to Adirondack Loj. They conducted a carry out using backpack carriers and brought the girl out to an All-Terrain Vehicle, which transported her to the Adirondack Loj. Rangers turned the girl over to her summer camp counselors at that time. The incident concluded at 2:30 pm.

Town of Keene
Adirondack Mountain Reserve – Ausable Club
Distressed hiker: On July 29, 2016 a 5:44 pm, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance for a 48-year-old woman from Princeton, NJ who slid 80 feet down an embankment into a gorge at the Canyon Foot Bridge. She was in fair condition but was unable to climb back up. DEC Forest Rangers responded and conducted a technical rope rescue. They extracted both the woman and her son from the gorge and escorted them out to the Guard Shack down Lake Rd. The woman said she would seek medical attention on her own. The incident concluded at 11:30 pm.

Town of Elizabethtown
Giant Mountain Wilderness
Injured hiker: On July 30, 2016, at 9:20 pm, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call reporting an injured 38-year-old woman from Broadalbin, NY on Giant Mountain. The injured woman was part of a party of seven that were hiking from Roaring Brook Falls to New Russia. Her injury had grown progressively worse until it became non-weight bearing and her party could no longer assist her. Based on the group’s location, their level of preparedness and nightfall, Forest Rangers determined it would be best to respond at first light. Rangers and an Assistant Forest Ranger responded to the Giant Mountain trailhead while additional Rangers responded with New York State Police Aviation. Responders reached the woman at 8:45 am and stabilized the injury. After establishing a location, they hoisted her into the helicopter which then flew her to Marcy Field. From there, Keen Valley Rescue transported her to an area hospital. The incident concluded at 10:53 am on July 31.

Town of Elizabethtown
Private Land
Lost hiker: On July 31, 2016 at 6:32 pm, Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC Ray Brook Dispatch from a 20-year-old man from Queensbury, NY lost off Brainard Forge Road in Elizabethtown after attempting to bushwhack through to Steel Woods Rd. One DEC Forest Ranger responded, located the man and assisted him out of the woods. The incident concluded at 7:57 pm.

Town of Keene
High Peaks Wilderness
Lost hiker: On August 2, 2016 at 4:30 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC Ray Brook Dispatch from a 37-year-old woman from Thetford, VT lost with her daughter on Rooster Comb. They took the wrong trail while descending the mountain. One DEC Forest Ranger responded to the 911 coordinates, located the pair at 6:07 p.m. in good health and escorted them back to the trailhead. The incident concluded at 6:45 p.m.

Town of Keene
High Peaks Wilderness
Lost hikers: On August 4, 2016 at 9:15 p.m., DEC Central Dispatch received a request for assistance for a 30-year-old woman and a 27-year-old woman both from Brooklyn, NY lost and not prepared for the conditions in the John’s Brook Valley. The women advised they were on a trail and saw a sign to Basin Mountain. One DEC Forest Ranger redirected them back onto the correct trail by phone. Due to the hour of the call and safety reasons, the women decided to spend the night on the trail and Rangers would respond in the morning. The Rangers located the pair at 9:54 a.m. at John’s Brook Loj. The Rangers escorted them through the John’s Brook Valley and gave them a ride back to their vehicle at the Adirondack Mountain Reserve. The incident concluded at 12:15 p.m.

Town of Keene
High Peaks Wilderness
Distressed hiker: On August 5, 2016 at 4:22 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance from Essex County 911 for a 20-year-old man from Schroon Lake, NY in medical distress
between Big Slide and the Brothers. DEC Forest Rangers responded and reached the man at 7:00 p.m. They stabilized the man and escorted him through the John’s Brook Valley to an awaiting Keene Valley ambulance. The incident concluded at 9:00 p.m.

Town of Keene
High Peaks Wildness
Injured hiker: On August 5, 2016 at 4:28 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request from the Garden parking area attendant for a 19-year-old woman from Mahopac, NY with a lower-leg inquiry on the First Brothers Trail. DEC Forest Rangers responded and reached the woman at 6:45 p.m. Rangers stabilized the injury and escorted her down to the Garden parking area. She said she would seek medical attention on her own. The incident concluded at 8:30 p.m.

Town of Newcomb
High Peaks Wilderness
Distressed hiker: On August 7, 2016 at 10:15 a.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance via a radio transmission from the Lake Colden Outpost Caretaker for a 50-year-old man in medical distress at Nick’s Lake Lean-to. An Assistant Forest Ranger and the Lake Colden Caretaker responded. One Forest Ranger was flown in by New York State Police Aviation. They stabilized the man and prepared him for transport out via helicopter. The helicopter flew the man to an area hospital for medical treatment. The incident concluded at 1:54 p.m.

Hamilton County

Town of Indian Lake
Hudson Gorge Wilderness
Injured rafter: On July 30, 2016 at 10:45 am, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance from a DEC Forest Ranger via radio for a 60-year-old woman from Old Say Brook, CT. The woman sustained a lower-leg injury while rafting down the Indian River. An additional Forest Ranger responded to Chain Lakes Road along with the fire department and rescue squad for Indian Lake. Rangers reached the woman at 11:02 am and administered first aid. They packaged her up and carried her out to a waiting Indian Lake ambulance which transported her to an area hospital for medical treatment. The incident concluded at 11:33 am.

Town of Long Lake
Sargent Pond Wild Forest
Lost hikers: On August 3, 2016 at 4:56 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance from Hamilton County 911 for a 17-year-old girl from Pittsburgh, PA, a 21-year-old woman from Warner Robins, GA, and a 23-year-old woman from Caldwell, NJ lost on Castle Rock. DEC Forest Rangers responded, established voice contact and escorted the group back to the trailhead. The incident concluded at 6:55 p.m.

Herkimer County

Town of Webb
Fulton Chain Wild Forest
Injured hiker: On July 29, 2016 at 12:51 pm, Herkimer County 911 requested assistance from DEC Ray Brook Dispatch for a 47-year-old woman from Syracuse, NY with a lower-leg injury near the summit of Bald Mountain. DEC Forest Rangers responded to the area. The woman managed to walk with assistance back to the trailhead. The incident concluded at 2:20 pm. The Old Forge fire department, Webb police department, Old Forge rescue squad and Old Forge ambulance squad assisted in the rescue.

Lewis County

Town of Greig
Independence River Wild Forest
Lost individual: On July 27, 2016 at 4:25 pm, Lewis County 911 contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a lost 64-year-old woman from Carthage, NY near Sand Pond. The woman became separated from the rest of her party when she called 911. One DEC Forest Ranger and one DEC Environmental Conservation Officer responded. They located the woman at 5:30 pm in good health at the GPS coordinates provided by her 911 call. The incident concluded at 6:05 pm.

St. Lawrence County

Town of Clifton
Five Ponds
Distressed camper: On August 2, 2016 at 10:26 a.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office for a 47-year-old man from Santa Monica, CA in medical distress at a campsite on Lows Lake. DEC Forest Rangers and an Assistant Forest Ranger responded by boat from the Sabattis Boy Scout Reservation. They reached the man at 11:57 a.m. and prepared him for transport to an awaiting Long Lake Rescue Squad ambulance. He was taken to an area hospital for medical treatment. The incident concluded at 12:42 p.m.

Warren County

Town of Bolton
Lake George Wild Forest
Missing hiker: On July 26, 2016 at 5:45 pm, Warren County 911 transferred a caller to DEC Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a missing 9-year-old boy from Upper Marlboro, MD. The boy became separated from his hiking party on Thomas Mountain. The reporting party stated he was last seen heading toward the trailhead while descending from the summit 30 minutes before calling 911. DEC Forest Rangers responded to the trailhead. They located the missing boy in good health within a few hundred yards of the trailhead and escorted him up the trail to be reunited with his family at 6:25 pm.

Town of Bolton
Lake George Wild Forest
Distressed hiker: On August 5, 2016 at 5:56 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance from Warren County 911 for a 44-year-old woman from Levittown, PA in medical distress on Tongue Mountain. DEC Forest Rangers responded along with the Bolton fire department and EMS. They escorted her out but she refused additional medical treatment. The incident concluded at 10:30 p.m.

Washington County

Town of Fort Ann
Lake George Wild Forest
Injured hiker: On July 30, 2016 at 2:58 pm, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a transferred call from Washington County 911 requesting assistance for a 50-year-old woman with a lower-leg injury on Buck Mountain. DEC Forest Rangers responded and stabilized the injury. With walking assistance, a carry out and an All-Terrain Vehicle the injured woman was brought back to the trailhead where North Queensbury EMS assessed her. The incident concluded at 6:58 pm. The North Queensbury and Pilot Knob fire departments assisted in the rescue.

Town of Fort Ann
Lake George Wild Forest
Lost hikers: On August 5, 2016 at 2:30 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance for a 25-year-old woman and a 58-year-old woman, both from Cohoes, NY who became lost while descending Sleeping Beauty Mountain. The women advised that the trail markers had changed color and they believed they were on the wrong trail. One DEC Forest Ranger responded to Sleeping Beauty Mountain. Based on the caller’s descriptions of landmarks and surroundings, the Ranger was able to direct them to Dacy Clearing. They reached Dacy Clearing at 4:32 p.m. After a brief interview with the Ranger they were released. The incident concluded 4:45 p.m.

Be Prepared: Properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hiking Safety webpage and Adirondack Trail Information webpage for more information about where you intend to travel. The Adirondack Almanack reports weekly Outdoor Conditions each Thursday afternoon.


Editorial Staff

Stories written under the Almanack's Editorial Staff byline are drawn from press releases and other notices.

To have your news noticed here at the Almanack contact our Editor John Warren at adkalmanack@gmail.com.




5 Responses

  1. Scott van Laer scottvanlaer says:

    So many search and rescue incidents…are there enough Forest Rangers to respond to these and still adequately perform their basic, yet essential function of state land stewardship and patrol? Of course not.

    • Cranberry Bill says:

      I have been going into these beautiful woods for many years, and for the last 25 years or so, mostly alone. I have always been as careful as I have known how to be. As one gets older, one’s knowledge and experience increases, while at the same time some strength and agility decreases. I always thought that if I had to be rescued, I would be stuck with a 20 thousand or 50 thousand dollar bill. It was not until I started following the AA several years ago that I realized there was a really FREE RIDE up there. It makes me sick. IT SHOULD NOT BE! People should be responsible for their own rescues.
      There is more freedom in this park than anywhere else I have been. Let us not destroy it by abusing it. Laws and rules always increase, reducing our freedom, though protecting it, in a way, at the same time. Please let us keep this world class wilderness unencumbered by rules and fees and permits by respecting our own limitations and not expecting heroes we do not even know to risk their lives to rescue us when the unexpected happens.
      Scottvanlaer is a state employee and probably should not say too much, but I can only guess how his math works out. If people have to pay for their own rescues (notice I say rescue, not stupidity, because many very experienced people get hurt), there would possibly be more money for more rangers. Thankyou Scott and all New York rangers and DEC Conservation officers, State Police, local police, and especially volunteers for your service, and I hope to meet you, Scott, sometime, somewhere, in favorable conditions.
      And something else is always on the outskirts of my daily Adirondack existence (out of state as it is), and that is the news of Colin Gillis. I just googled him and the newest site I just hit, I have already visited twice since last December. I think other people would like updates,also.

      • Todd Eastman says:

        CB,

        You have paid taxes for years, S&R and rescues are part of the job descriptions of the agency staff. You have pre-paid, just be smart, try to avoid a bad situation, and help if help is needed.

        That takes care of your fear of rules and regs…

  2. Sean Duncan says:

    So many complain about the so called “free ride” until they need one. Get over yourself.

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