Claude Denev, a 54-year-old from Ray Brook, hiked to the summit of the 3,088-foot-high Scarface Mountain Saturday. By trail, the hike is about 3.5 miles one way. After reaching the summit and starting the descent, Denev apparently became lost, according to DEC Region 5 Spokesman Dave Winchell.
Scarface Mountain is located near the hamlet of Ray Brook, which is home to the headquarters for DEC Region 5, state police Troop B, and the state Adirondack Park Agency.
After losing his way Saturday, Denev called a friend at about 7 pm to alert them of the situation. He told the friend he would spend the night in the woods and find his way out in the morning.
But the following morning at 11:30 am, Denev realized he needed further assistance and called his friend to ask for help. His friend called state police, who contacted Denev and talked to him for about 30 seconds before the connection was lost.
State police contacted the DEC dispatch office in Ray Brook at 1:20 to alert them of the situation. A forest ranger went to the Scarface trailhead and hiked to the summit, looking for signs of the missing man.
The forest ranger was soon joined in the search by a larger contingent that included seven more forest rangers, a state police helicopter, a DEC environmental conservation police K9 unit and a state police K9 unit. The searchers were unable to locate the man Sunday.
This morning, searchers once again went into the woods at 7:30 am. This group included 14 forest rangers and 11 volunteers from SARNAK entered the woods around 7:30 am.
At 8 am, a forest ranger located Denev in the wetlands on the south side of Ray Brook. He was cold but able to move on his own. He walked out of the woods escorted by the forest ranger.
No further details were available as of 9:30 a.m. this morning.