Thursday, June 4, 2020

Ranger Report: Five backcountry injuries and a tubing trip gone wrong

forest ranger logoRecent Forest Ranger Actions

Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On May 27 at 10:45 a.m., DEC’s Central Office Dispatch received a call requesting assistance for an injured hiker in the High Peaks. The 26-year-old woman from Waterville had suffered an ankle injury near the Phelps Junction trail, approximately one mile from Marcy Dam. Forest Rangers James Giglinto, Kevin Burns, and Tom Gliddi responded to assist, but a Ray Brook trail crew at Marcy Dam advised they were closer to the hiker and would proceed to her location. The woman rolled her ankle after stepping from a rock into mud while her hiking group descended the Phelps summit. She attempted to continue until she lost sensation in two of her toes and called for help. Once the trail crew reached the woman, she was stabilized and assisted to Marcy Dam. The hiker reached Marcy Dam at 12:30 p.m., and Ranger Giglinto transported her out to South Meadow Road via UTV. The hiking group transported her to a local hospital for additional medical care.

Town of Keene
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On May 27 at 8:30 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Forest Ranger Robbi Mecus advising that she had spoken with a man reporting his wife lost on Mount Colvin. The man said he last saw his wife on Colvin while he continued to Blake Mountain with his son. At this time, he believed his wife had started to hike back down without them. Ranger Mecus advised the man to give his wife some more time to get out of the woods and to call back if he hadn’t heard from her by 10 p.m. Ranger Mecus advised Dispatch that the man called back at 10 p.m., and had still not heard from his wife. Forest Rangers Mecus, Benjamin Baldwin, and Chris DiCintio responded to the Adirondack Mountain Reserve access for Colvin and Blake to search for the lost hiker. With the assistance of Ausable Club staff, Ranger Mecus made her way across the Lower Ausable Lake while Rangers Baldwin and DiCintio searched the Gill Brook and Gill Brook cutoff trails before reconvening and continuing up Colvin. On May 28 at 12:28 a.m., Ranger Mecus advised that she was with the hiker. The 52-year-old woman from Saratoga Springs had fallen, struck her head, and was complaining of nausea when she was found. The Ausable Club employee in a boat picked up Ranger Mecus and the injured hiker and brought them back to the boat house. Ranger Mecus then drove the injured hiker to the Adirondack Mountain Reserve gate where she was turned over to Keene Valley EMS and transported to a local hospital for medical treatment.

Town of Keene
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On May 28 at 4:10 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch for a pair of hikers requesting assistance. The man and woman were hiking down the east side of Armstrong Mountain towards Beaver Meadow Falls when the 24-year-old woman from Duanesburg injured her left knee. Per Forest Ranger Lieutenant Julie Harjung, Dispatch was asked to contact the hikers and instruct them to continue hiking down the mountain where they would meet Forest Ranger Robbi Mecus on Lake Road. From there, Ranger Mecus would give them a ride out to the trailhead. Dispatch was unable to re-establish contact with the two hikers so Ranger Mecus proceeded into the woods to find them. At 5:57 p.m., Ranger Mecus located the couple at the Beaver Meadow Falls bridge, escorted them out to her vehicle, and gave them a ride to their vehicle.

Town of Newcomb
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On May 31 at 1:34 p.m., a hiker on Adam’s Mountain called DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a 56-year-old woman from Peru, New York, with an ankle injury just below the steep summit. The hiker was reportedly still trying to progress downhill with assistance from her hiking party but was unable to put any weight on the injured leg. Forest Rangers Sarah Bode, Evan Donegan, Jamison Martin, and Logan Quinn responded, with one ranger bringing an ATV. The hiker had progressed a bit further when she was located by Rangers at 4:17 p.m. The Rangers assisted her to an awaiting ATV for transport to a Ranger vehicle, which then brought her to the Newcomb Rescue Squad before being transport to a local hospital for medical treatment.

Town of Indian Lake
Hamilton County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On May 31 at 1:47 p.m., a hiking group on Blue Mountain contacted DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a 16-year-old girl from Herkimer with a non-weight-bearing ankle injury. Forest Rangers Melissa Milano and Bruce Lomnitzer, along with Assistant Forest Ranger Allison O’Connell, responded to the trailhead. The hiker was reportedly continuing down the trail with the assistance of her hiking party when they were located by Forest Rangers at 3:35 p.m. Once the ankle was assessed and splinted, Forest Rangers and members of the Blue Mountain Lake Fire Department and Rescue Squad assisted the hiker down the trail and were out of the woods at 5:03 p.m. EMS personnel assessed the girl and she advised she would seek additional medical treatment on her own.

Town of Schroon
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On May 31 at 2:17 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch requesting assistance for a group tubing the Schroon River outside of Ticonderoga. The group was unable to continue their two-mile trip between bridges after a 25-year-old woman from Fort Ann began displaying symptoms of hypothermia. Using the coordinates obtained through 911, Forest Ranger Logan Quinn responded and located the group at 3:16 p.m. Forest Ranger Quinn escorted the group back to their vehicles where they declined medical assistance and left.

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NYS DEC

Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.




3 Responses

  1. Dick Carlson says:

    A lot of hikers are probably using “light hikers” or even sneakers when they really would be better off with a bigger boot and more support especially on the more rugged mountain trails. Low-land trails and roads you can get by with less shoe.

    • Boreas says:

      Dick,

      It would also be interesting to record hiking pole statistics to see if they indeed reduce injuries, or possibly even increase them by hiking too fast(?).

    • Balian the Cat says:

      Dick,

      There is a lot of “press” for lite hikers these days. Folks are using them to set records on the big through hikes. Your average hiker is not one of those people, however and I think there could be some cause and effect with ankle injuries.

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