Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Second trap dike rescue in week’s time

forest ranger logoRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On July 24 at 12:45 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch was contacted about two 19-year-old hikers from Rye, New York, and Louisville, Kentucky, who were trapped on the Western slope of the Trap Dike. Forest Rangers Burns, DiCintio, Mecus, and Praczkajlo responded with the help of the New York State Police Aviation Unit for a hoist rescue operation. Ranger Burns and Climbing Specialist Crofoot flew from Lake Clear to Lake Placid and picked up Forest Rangers Mecus and Praczjaklo at 2:30 p.m. From there, the officers flew and lowered the rescue team to the Trap Dike to the hikers’ location high up on the slide. At 3:30 p.m., contact was made, and using a series of technical rope systems, the hikers were lowered to safety. At approximately 6:30 p.m., the rescue team was at the base of the Trap Dike along with the hikers who were then able to walk out on their own.

Town of Indian Lake
Hamilton County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On July 20 at 6:28 p.m., Hamilton County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a 22-year-old female hiker from Oneonta on Blue Mountain with a non-weight-bearing injury to her lower leg. Coordinates provided by 911 placed the hiker about halfway down the mountain. Forest Rangers Scott, Miller, Lewis, and Milano responded along with the Blue Mountain Fire Department. At 8:05 p.m., the hiker was located and first aid was provided for her injury. The subject was then carried in a litter down the mountain to the trailhead where she opted to seek further medical attention on her own.

Town of Webb
Herkimer County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On July 21 at 1:37 p.m., Herkimer County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch about an injured 75-year-old female hiker on the Moss Lake trail. While hiking the loop trail around Moss Lake, the hiker from Tonawanda stepped down a bank and rolled her ankle. Forest Rangers McCartney and Hanno responded along with the Inlet Police Department, Inlet Volunteer Ambulance, and the Eagle Bay Fire Department. The hiker was packaged by EMS and evacuated via ATV by the Rangers. She was then transported to a local hospital for additional medical treatment.

Town of Harrietstown
Franklin County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On July 21 at 1:51 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from an injured hiker on Donaldson Mountain in the Western High Peaks Wilderness. The caller slid down a rock while descending and heard a snap in his ankle. During the initial contact, the caller indicated he would try to continue down the mountain on his own after splinting the injury. At 4:30 p.m., Forest Ranger DiCintio contacted the hiker, who had only been able to descend halfway down the mountain and was requesting assistance. Forest Rangers Burns and DiCintio responded with an ATV to Calkins Creek and hiked 1.5 miles to reach the subject. After re-splinting the injury, the 46-year-old from Lockport was assisted back to the ATV and brought out to Coreys Road at 9 p.m. for transport to a local hospital.

Town of Webb
Herkimer County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On July 25 at 10 a.m., Forest Ranger Lt. Murphy was monitoring the parking area at the Fulton Chain Wild Forest Bald Mountain Rondaxe trailhead when he was approached by a hiker running down the trail. The hiker stated there was a 14-year-old male who needed medical assistance further up the trail. Lt. Murphy notified Herkimer County 911 requesting Old Forge Fire and Rescue EMS to respond. Lt. Murphy located the injured hiker with his mother about a quarter of a mile up the trail and provided first aid. Upon arrival, Old Forge Fire and Rescue provided additional medical treatment. The hiker from Auburn was put in a rescue litter, brought down to the trailhead, and transported by Old Forge Rescue to a local hospital.

Town of Indian Lake
Hamilton County
Wilderness Search:
 On July 26 at 4:20 a.m., DEC’s Central Dispatch received a call from New York State Police Dispatch reporting a missing 75-year-old man. The call was made by the man’s son who had last seen his father about three hours prior. Forest Rangers Scott and Temple made the initial response to the man’s last know location, and after a preliminary search of the area with negative results, additional Rangers were requested to respond. Forest Rangers Lomnitzer, Arnold, DiCintio, Martin, Milano, Nally, Quinn, Thompson, and Praczkajlo responded to assist. After hours of searching, the man was located at 1:25 p.m. in good condition.

Town of Fort Ann
Washington County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On July 26 at 6:10 p.m., Warren and Washington County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a separated and lost hiker on Buck Mountain in the Lake George Wild Forest Area. Forest Rangers Donegan and Poulton responded to the area of the hiker’s last known coordinates and at 8:36 p.m., the 25-year-old woman from Antwerp, New York, was located. At 9:56 p.m., Rangers and the lost hiker were back at the trailhead where she was reunited with the rest of her party.

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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.




9 Responses

  1. Jeanne says:

    Here is a perfect example of hikers not prepared. There should be a rescue fee considered regarding this rescue. I personally have hiked the traped dike twice. It should not be climbed unless you are 100% and prepared. The trap dike can be a dangerous climb. Is the cost worth your life and rescue? The rescue is dangerous, alone.

    • Boreas says:

      Agree. Even a relatively easy slide can be dangerous if you are new to slides and how to negotiate them. One slip or trip can potentially result in death because unless you are roped, it may be a long slide or tumble until you finally come to rest. Unfortunately, when many of these scrambles and slides are written up their “ease” often overshadows the underlying risk. I have had my share of scary moments on “easy” slides.

    • Sula says:

      It doesn’t really say anywhere what preparations, if any, these two hikers made, or whether they were experienced or just a pair of fools over their heads, so it is a bit of an assumption to say they were unprepared when we don’t know their side of the story. Even the most well-prepared and experienced can get into trouble on a place like the Trap Dike. The Rangers did an incredible job with this difficult rescue. I tend to agree that a rescue fee should be considered for dangerous climbs. But who decides what is a dangerous climb?

      • Boreas says:

        No one really said they were unprepared. My point was two weeks in a row DEC had to remove climbers from the dike for “some” reason. That is pretty unusual in a dry summer. What is attracting people to it? Are they being led to believe it is much easier than it is? I would guess social media may be a factor. Rock climbers are on difficult routes every day, but aren’t being hauled off of the faces on a regular basis. Is their preparation better or are they just lucky?

        • Sula says:

          To quote the first comment “Here is a perfect example of hikers not prepared,” so someone really did say that. I feel that you are correct in thinking that social media has a lot to do with it and perhaps those kids didn’t understand the difficulty involved–it is not a technical climb. Years ago when I was young and spry, neither of which I am now, I wanted to climb the Trap Dike, too, but never got around to it. I think back then it was less dangerous than it is now–erosion over time and weather being a contributing factor. Rock climbers are usually roped and are better prepared. Still, I read fairly recently of some one getting stuck on a ledge at Chapel Pond, someone else getting into difficulty on Pok O’Moonshine. A professional ice climbing guide had a terrible fall several years ago on Chapel Pond cliffs and was almost killed. So, stuff can happen.

  2. Boreas says:

    Must be why they call it a “trap” dike…

  3. Jeanne says:

    Before cell phones, This may not have been a rescue; but a recovery. In the 80’s and 90’s when I climbed, it was dangerous, daunting, exhausting. Yes, ropes are a very good idea. Falls will happen, This is a climbing route. The photos alone show its intensity! We all will make mistakes, takes a second to slip. Helmets? Ropes? Just because someone says ‘its easy, doesn’t mean you can do it” Preparation – could be life and death

  4. Jim A says:

    I’m going out on a (short) limb to say – if you need to be rescued (absent a significant injury) you are presumed to be unprepared. Seems like if you can find a pretty scenic picture on social media, can also research what is needed to be prepared – equipment, food and water, physical – and yes mental preparation. Fee for rescue? Maybe, but that is a slippery slope. But I read of some of these most egregious situations and say – at least make them pay. Thank you overworked DEC personnel, and rescue volunteers!! (I’ll stop there, lest karma catch up with me….)

    • Boreas says:

      I agree for the most part. In general, I don’t believe taxpayers should have to pay for people exploring and finding the limits of their abilities. Accidents and injury are another matter altogether.

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