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
Wilderness Rescue: On July 13 at 11:45 pm, a call came in to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a group of overdue hikers on Mount Colden. It was reported that the party of seven had decided to climb the Trap Dike on Mount Colden in the High Peaks Wilderness Area. On the descent toward Lake Arnold their phones started to lose power. The callers were placed in contact with Forest Ranger Lt. Christopher Kostoss who requested that they stay together at Lake Arnold and wait for first light to finish their hike out in the morning. At 7:30 am on July 14, radio communications came in from Assistant Forest Ranger Evan Treadgold that the seven men from New Jersey were at the Marcy Dam Outpost and requesting assistance out to Adirondak Loj. They were complaining of being tired, cold, wet, hungry, and dehydrated from their two-day ordeal. Forest Ranger James Giglinto responded to Marcy Dam and transported three of the hikers who were in advance stages of dehydration. The remaining four hiked out back to Adiondak Loj. The incident concluded at 8:30 am.
Town of Long Lake
Wilderness Rescue: On July 8 at 4:55 pm, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Hamilton County Emergency Service reporting an injured 71-year-old male hiker on Owls Head Mountain. The Baldwinsville man had apparently taken a fall just below the summit, dislocating his shoulder and hitting his head. The hiker continued to walk out until the pain forced him to stop. Forest Ranger James Waters responded with a member of the Long Lake Rescue Squad to intercept the hiker and provide first aid before walking him out to a waiting ambulance. At 6:18 pm, the hiker and all personnel were back at the trailhead, and EMS staff tended to the hiker.
Town of Indian Lake
Wilderness Rescue: On July 9 at 7:07 pm, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a transferred call from a male caller from Binghamton who was on the summit of Blue Mountain in the Blue Mountain Wild Forest with his wife and two children, ages 10 and 6. The hiker’s concern was that the kids were too tired to continue back down the mountain. The subject requested permission to drive his vehicle to the summit to retrieve his family, but Dispatch informed him that this was not an option and transferred his call to Forest Ranger Jason Scott. Forest Ranger Scott decided the best course of action would be to drive to the summit where the Ranger would give the 44-year-old mother and 6-year-old daughter a ride back down the mountain while the father and 10-year-old hiked down. Forest Ranger Scott arrived at the summit at 7:45 pm, where he picked up the two hikers. He then proceeded to drive the pair to the trailhead where they met the rest of their party. At 8:50 pm, the father and son emerged from the mountain and Forest Ranger Scott was clear of the scene.
Town of Dresden
Wilderness Rescue: On July 10 at 3:23 pm, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiker on Black Mountain requesting assistance. The caller reported he was close to Lake George, had lost his water, and was unable to make it back on the trail to his vehicle. Dispatch directed the caller to dial 911 to obtain his coordinates. Lt. John Solan, on boat patrol on Lake George, was closest and arrived at Black Mountain Point. The 30-year-old hiker from Hudson Falls was escorted down the trail to the boat and the hiker was transported to Hulett’s Landing, where he was turned over to a family member for a ride back to his vehicle by 4:51 pm.
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.