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
Wilderness Rescue: On May 1 at 8:43 pm, Essex County 911 transferred a cell phone call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch from a Brooklyn hiker reporting that a 19-year-old male in their group was repeatedly slipping and falling after descending Algonquin Peak. The caller’s 911 coordinates placed the group on the trail approximately .9 miles from Marcy Dam. The call was lost and dispatch was unable to reach the hikers via text. Forest Rangers responded with a UTV via the Marcy Dam truck trail to intercept the hiking party at Marcy Dam. When the subjects were not found at Marcy Dam, Rangers went up the trail toward Avalanche Camp with negative results. State Police Ray Brook, who had also received calls from the hikers’ family and friends, provided a second cell number for the group. Dispatch established cell contact with the group by 10:36 pm. The hikers said they believed they were just over a mile from the Adirondak Loj past Marcy Dam. Ranger James Giglinto caught up to the group on the trail at 11:39 pm. The subjects reached the Loj at 12:02 am and declined further medical care after being assessed by Ranger Giglinto. The hikers had mistakenly taken a longer route after leaving Algonquin, and the subject having difficulty did not have suitable gear for the trip.
Town of Long Lake
Wilderness Rescue: On May 4 at 2:08 pm, Franklin County 911 transferred a cellphone call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch from a caller who was lost while hiking back from Bum Pond in the William C. Whitney Wilderness. The 62-year-old male from Bushkill, PA, went on a hike to Bum Pond from Sabattis Road and successfully reached the pond on the lightly marked trails. However, while coming back, the hiker became disoriented and called for Forest Ranger assistance after realizing he was lost. Through questioning by Ray Brook Dispatch and based off his last known point and direction of travel, Rangers established that the hiker was along the shore of Little Tupper Lake. Two Forest Rangers proceeded to the Whitney Headquarters with a boat for an efficient response. The Rangers quickly arrived at the trail coordinates, located the hiker in good condition, and returned him to his vehicle.
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.