Recent DEC forest ranger actions:
Town of Waverly
Wilderness Rescue: On Sept. 5 at 4 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiker reporting that his wife had injured her ankle about a half mile from the trailhead of Azure Mountain. Forest Ranger Lt. Harjung responded along with Forest Rangers Balerno and Evans, the St. Regis Falls Fire Department, and EMS. Once on scene, Lt. Harjung splinted the injury and the group started slowly making their way down the trail. The injured hiker was able to get down off the steeper slope with the assistance of hiking poles and leaning on the shoulders of rescuers. The responders then placed the subject in a litter and carried her the remainder of the way to the trailhead. The hiker declined additional medical treatment and said she would seek treatment on her own.
Town of Keene
Wilderness Rescue: On Sept. 5 at 4:07 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a request to assist 22-year-old woman from Glenridge, New Jersey, who sustained a non-weight-bearing leg injury a half mile below the Hopkins Junction on Mount Marcy. Forest Rangers and the Mt. Marcy Summit Steward responded to assist. The Steward reached the subject at 4:45 p.m., with Forest Ranger Mecus arriving shortly thereafter to help assess and stabilize the injury. The group then began slowly making their way to Marcy Dam. At 8:53 p.m., Forest Ranger Mecus advised that they had made it to Indian Falls and the injured hiker was unable to continue. Forest Rangers Praczkajlo, Lewis, van Laer, DiCinitio, Assistant Ranger Engel, and the Marcy Dam Caretaker responded to help. At 11:20 p.m., the hiker was driven out from Marcy Dam to Meadows Lane on a waiting UTV. A friend picked up the hiker and advised they would seek further medical assistance on their own.
Town of Keene
Wilderness Rescue: On Sept. 5 at 8:27 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received notification from Forest Rangers engaged in another rescue on Mount Marcy that they had encountered a hiker suffering from back spasms and in need of assistance. Forest Ranger Bode responded and assisted the 43-year-old hiker from Farmingdale down the trail to the Marcy Dam outpost where she received a ride back to the trailhead on a waiting UTV. The injured hiker advised she would seek further medical attention on her own.
Town of Clifton
St. Lawrence County
Wilderness Rescue: On Sept. 6 at 9:26 a.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call for an injured hiker on the Cranberry Lake 50 trail. The caller stated that her 14-year-old son pulled his Achilles tendon and could not continue the hike. The group was on the east side of Brandy Brook Flow on Cranberry Lake and Forest Ranger Baldwin responded by boat. Ranger Baldwin arrived to the hiking party by 10:06 a.m., and transported the group by boat to shore shortly thereafter. The injured hiker from Plattsburgh declined further medical care at the scene and advised he would seek medical attention on his own.
Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hike Smart NY and Adirondack Backcountry Information webpage for more information.
Should DEC be considering an aid station and evacuation shuttle on Marcy during peak season? Is it any different than any large public gathering? A helipad just off the summit?
Seems to me with more and more calls for rescues, the state should be doing more to alert these “hikers” that these are physically demanding trails. Are reports of these rescues indicating whether or not the subject of the rescue should have been hiking the trail they were rescued on? Are signs posted at the trailhead recommending the hiker have hiked 10 similar trails before attempting to hike the trail? Has marking the trails like ski trails are marked been considered? Novice, beginner, expert etc. Is a sign posted that a rescue will be charged to the person being rescued? If not, they should be warned of this as it may prevent the risk of injury or loss of life to the rescuers? Who pays for these rescues?
Obviously things have changed since 1950s or 60s. The system needs to change too. Something should be done to stop these reckless individuals from doing things they have no business doing.