Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Forest Rangers Rescue Slide Climber

State emergency crews rescued a slide climber on Lower Wolf Jaw mountain Saturday after he injured his leg during a fall on Bennies Brook slide.

Austin Faddish, 21, of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, was climbing near the top of the slide with four other people when he fell about 30 feet, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Realizing that Faddish was hurt, a member of his group called Essex County 911 at about 10:40 a.m. Essex County dispatch then contacted DEC.

Seven forest rangers responded to the incident, including some in a state police helicopter. One of the forest rangers in the helicopter was lowered to Faddish at about 12:15 p.m.. After an injury assessment, the climber was hoisted into the helicopter and flown to Marcy Field in Keene, where a North Country Life Flight medic was picked up.

The helicopter then transported the injured man to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake for treatment. The helicopter arrived at 12:40 p.m. Faddish was treated and released from AMC that day, according to hospital spokesman.

Faddish was wearing crampons and using ice climbing tools at the time of the fall, according to the DEC. Although Faddish slid 30 feet, a DEC statement said that “it was never a free fall.”

This was the second major rescue in the High Peaks region recently. Two Canadian hikers were rescued by forest rangers on Tuesday, January 20, after spending an unplanned night in the woods. The pair got lost while descending Mount Marcy in a squall, according to the DEC. Rangers located the pair in the Panther Gorge area the next day. The hikers came away from the incident without any serious injuries. Fourteen forest rangers and a state helicopter participated in that rescue.

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Mike Lynch is a staff writer and photographer for the nonprofit Adirondack Explorer, the regional bimonthly news magazine with a focus on outdoor recreation and environmental issues. Mike’s favorite outdoor activities include paddling, hiking, fishing and backcountry skiing. In 2011, he paddled the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail from Old Forge to Fort Kent, Maine. From 2007 until 2014, Mike worked as an outdoors writer and photographer for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise in Saranac Lake. Mike welcomes story ideas and can be reached at mike@adirondackexplorer.org.

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