New 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.
Town of Keene
Search: On February 28 at 4:30 pm, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch was contacted requesting assistance for a 49-year-old male with an ankle injury on Dial Mt. who fell into a spruce trap. Three Forest Rangers responded, accessing the trail via the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR) in Keene. Rangers reached the hiker by 7:40 pm and splinted his ankle. The hiker was able to continue the hike out with assistance from Forest Rangers and reached the trailhead at 10:40 pm. The hiker transported himself to the Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake for follow-up treatment.
Town of Keene
Search: On March 1 at 6:37 pm, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a direct call from a mother who said her daughter went for a walk and got lost in the woods off Beede Road in Keene Valley. Two Forest Rangers responded, one starting from the front of Levi Lamb Road and the other from the end of the road. Through the use of coordinates provided by Essex County 911, Forest Rangers were able to establish voice contact with the 15-year-old girl. She was located in good health and assisted out of the woods. She was then escorted back to her home by Forest Rangers. The incident concluded around 9:25 pm.
Town of Keene
Search: On March 5 at around 10:15 pm, the girlfriend of a hiker called DEC dispatch concerned that her boyfriend was overdue from a solo hike up Mount Colden’s Trap Dike after not hearing from him at the planned arrival time of 4:30 pm. The 62-year-old experienced hiker was well equipped for the night, but did not carry a cell phone. His spot locator was not working properly. At 10:30 pm, Forest Ranger Scott VanLaer and Lake Colden caretaker Katie Tyler began searching trails and trailheads in the area. Ranger VanLaer met up with the hiker at the trailhead around midnight. He had found his own way out of the woods and was uninjured.
Town of Wilmington
Rescue: On March 4 at 10:46 am, Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance from Essex County 911 for a 26-year-old male from St. Huebert’s, Quebec, who, while descending Whiteface Mountain, lost his footing, slid off the trail, went through the woods about 30 feet, then fell off a 25-foot vertical cliff to the Whiteface Highway below. The subject required medical assistance for serious injuries. Rangers arrived at a staging area on the Whiteface Highway at 11:45 am. Snowmobiles were taken up the highway to the injured subject along with Wilmington EMS. The subject was reached at 12:08 pm. After a medical evaluation, he was packaged and brought down the Whiteface Highway at 12:36 pm. Wilmington Ambulance transported the subject to a landing zone, where he was loaded into a Medivac Helicopter and flown to Fletcher Allen Hospital in Burlington, Vermont. The incident concluded at 1:35 pm.
Town of North Elba
Search: On March 8 at 2:14 p.m., DEC Dispatch received a call from a 38-year-old female from Wilmington advising she was turned around and in a whiteout snowstorm near the summit of Mt. Marshall. The Lake Colden caretaker was dispatched to look for the subject. At 5:47 p.m., the caretaker located the subject and escorted her to the Lake Colden Cabin. The incident concluded at 7 p.m.
Town of North Elba
Rescue: On March 10 at 12:29 p.m., a Forest Ranger on patrol found a 29-year-old male from Ballston Spa with an ankle injury near the Wright Peak junction on Algonquin Mountain. The subject advised he was working his way down and needed assistance. Two additional Rangers were dispatched to Algonquin Peak and met the subject at the old Algonquin Trail. He was escorted out with assistance to the Adirondack Loj parking area. He stated he would seek medical attention on his own at a local hospital, and the incident concluded at 4:56 p.m.
Town of Willmington
Rescue: On March 10 at 12:15 p.m., DEC Dispatch received notification of a 31-year-old male from Cohoes with a possible fractured femur near the summit of Whiteface Mountain. Three Rangers were dispatched to assist the subject. He was packaged into a litter and towed by snowmobile down the Whiteface Mountain Memorial Highway. The subject was then transferred to an ambulance at 2:38 p.m. and taken to AMC Saranac Lake. The incident concluded by 3 p.m. The Rangers were assisted by the Wilmington Fire Department, Wilmington Ambulance, and Lake Placid Ambulance.
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.