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 North Elba
Search: At 2:44 pm on December 10, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a transferred call from Essex County 911 reporting a lost 38-year-old male hiker on snowshoes from Ottawa, Canada, near the summit of Algonquin Mountain. Initially, the hiker lost the trail and could not find it due to high winds above treeline. The hiker was unable to follow dispatcher instructions to use his compass and get back on the trail. Due to the possibility of hypothermia and with the hiker experiencing severe leg cramps, four Forest Rangers responded. As daylight was fading, the hiker decided to shelter in place in a bivy and wait for the Rangers. Two Rangers set out on snowmobiles from the Adirondak Loj at 4:40 pm, but were unable to continue past Macintyre Brook due to open water and poor snow conditions. Continuing on foot, they reached the hiker at 8:47 pm at the coordinates provided by 911. Rangers assisted the hiker with warm weather gear, food, and liquids before starting to descend the trail. Additional Rangers were staged along the trail to assist if needed. By 12:16 am, Rangers and the hiker reached the Adirondak Loj. Declining further medical care, the hiker drove himself to his hotel nearby.
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.