Thursday, December 27, 2018

Adirondack Hikers Rescued From Colden, Prospect

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
Search/Rescue: At 3 pm on Dec. 19, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a mother whose daughter was texting her requesting assistance with getting back to the trail near the false summit of Mt. Colden. The daughter was uninjured but in deep snow. She could not connect with 911 but texted her mother to call Dispatch with her coordinates to try to get directions back to the trail. Forest Rangers contacted the woman and attempted to direct her back to the trail without success. With limited daylight remaining and the only option being a three-hour hike to locate the woman, Forest Rangers contacted State Police Aviation for assistance. State Police Aviation attempted to land at the summit of Colden and insert a Forest Ranger into the area, but snowy conditions prohibited a landing. A Forest Ranger was successfully hoisted into a nearby area and the subject was reached by 4:23 pm. The woman was able to walk out with the Forest Ranger guidance. No further assistance was needed.

Warren County

Town of Lake George
Rescue: At 3:15 pm on Dec. 20, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call through Warren County 911 reporting a man and woman stranded at the parking lot on Prospect Mountain because the trail and road were too slippery to go down, even though they had climbed it moments earlier. Without proper equipment to safely reach their vehicle, the pair requested Forest Ranger assistance to get down the mountain. Forest Rangers responded to the Prospect Mountain Toll Road with ATVs equipped with chains to retrieve the stranded couple. At 4:18 pm, Forest Rangers reached the stranded hikers and within 20 minutes the pair was back at the trailhead. The hikers were given instructions on carrying proper gear for seasonal conditions.

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.

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9 Responses

  1. Justin Farrell says:

    “…the trail and road were too slippery to go down, even though they had climbed it moments earlier. Without proper equipment to safely reach their vehicle, the pair requested Forest Ranger assistance…”


    • Boreas says:

      Improper winter footwear requiring “assistance”? I think I would have given them more than “instructions”…

  2. Tim-Brunswick says:

    …and again the taxpayers of New York foot the bill not to mention jeopardizing the Forest Rangers themselves in these situations!!

  3. Bill W. says:

    Many don’t realize you can text 911.

  4. Tony Goodwin says:

    Absent cell phones, the party on Prospect Mt. would have surely figured out how to get down. No details on exactly how stuck the hiker on Colden actually was. Maybe the Colden hiker would have forged on and come out o.k.with a good story, or maybe not.

    • Boreas says:

      I suspect advanced age may have been a factor with the Prospect Mt. couple (brittle bones, fear of falling, etc.), but not a very good excuse.

  5. Jeanne says:

    When a Ranger and other emergency personnel are used in a rescue, The rescued person (s) should bare some of the cost. Seems many hikers today are unprepared. Esp. in winter – no sleeping bag, no tent. Their recklessness really puts all rescuers in danger. Winter hiking is dangerous. Never hike alone.

    • Boreas says:

      “…The rescued person (s) should bare(sic) some of the cost.”

      Indeed. And it wouldn’t have to be in the form of a punitive monetary fine. It could simply be a “strong” suggestion for an appropriate donation or even community service maintaining trails and/or educating the clueless.

  6. Charlie S says:

    Justin Farrell says: “…the trail and road were too slippery to go down, even though they had climbed it moments earlier…..Seriously?”

    It is easier to go up than it is to go down Justin. Don’t you remember them long ago days when first learning how to crawl and just when you were beginning to walk how you found stairs a curiosity and so you went up them clumsily and the navigation wasn’t so bad but O’ how dreadful it was trying to get back down them same stairs?

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