Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Serious backcountry injuries result in multiple carryouts

forest ranger logoRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of St. Armand
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Sept. 22 at 12:10 p.m., Franklin County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting an injured 64-year-old hiker from Dyer, Indiana, on Baker Mountain. The hiker went off the trail, fell, and injured his right leg. Forest Rangers Evans and Sabo responded to assist. Once on scene, Forest Ranger Evans provided first aid for the subject’s unstable knee and ankle. Due to the extent of the injury, New York State Police (NYSP) Aviation was requested along with backup rescuers including members of Search and Rescue of the Northern Adirondacks in case of a possible carry-out involving a high-angle rope technique on steep terrain. NYSP Aviation, with Forest Ranger Benzel as hoist operator, completed the hoist rescue off the mountain at 4:18 p.m. The hiker was transported to a local hospital for further medical treatment.

Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Sept. 23 at 3:15 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a group of hikers reporting that a 60-year-old woman from Bath had dislocated her left shoulder on the trail for Phelps Mountain. The caller reported that they believed the subject’s shoulder was back in the socket and that they had tied a belt around the injured woman’s shoulder to keep it in place. The group continued down to Marcy Dam where they were met by Forest Ranger Lewis. Ranger Lewis provided a sling for the injured shoulder and escorted the hikers to the outpost where they were given a ride back out to their vehicle. The injured hiker advised that she would seek further medical treatment on her own.

Town of Wilmington
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Sept. 24 at 10:30 a.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for Forest Ranger assistance regarding a 60-year-old man from Warren, Connecticut, who had a medical issue on the Stag River Trail on Whiteface Mountain. Forest Rangers responded to the hiker’s location and arrived on scene at 11:08 a.m. Rangers transported the subject to the Whiteface Ski Center where he was evaluated by Whiteface Medical Staff and transferred to Wilmington Rescue for transport to a local hospital for treatment. The incident concluded at 12:15 p.m.

Town of Long Lake
Hamilton County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Sept. 25 at 6:50 a.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance from SPOT Locator Services for a 60-year-old Ballston Spa woman with a non-weight bearing knee injury at the Ouluska lean-to on the Northville-Placid Trail. Due to the remoteness of the area, Rangers contacted NYSP Aviation to assist in performing a hoist operation to extract the injured hiker. Forest Rangers and NYSP Aviation extracted the woman and flew her to a local hospital for treatment at 10:35 a.m., while Rangers using UTVs drove to Ward Brook to meet the subject’s husband. The man was given a ride out to the gate and a courtesy ride to his vehicle at the trailhead.

Town of Keene
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Sept. 25 at 1:05 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch from a pair of hikers on the Blueberry Mountain Trail reporting a 76-year-old hiker from Katonah with a non-weight bearing ankle injury. Forest Rangers Lewis and van Laer and Assistant Forest Ranger Raudonis responded to assist. Once on scene, Rangers splinted the injured ankle and the hiker attempted to make his way out with crutches, but was unsuccessful. The Keene and Keene Valley Fire Departments Back Country Rescue responded with a litter and backpack carries to assist with the carry-out with Forest Rangers Gliddi and Evans. The responders carried the hiker to the trailhead and he advised he would seek further medical assistance on his own.

Town of Wilmington
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Sept. 26 at 3 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance for a 26-year-old hiker from Queensbury with an ankle injury on Whiteface Mountain just below Hoyt’s High. Forest Rangers Lewis, Burns, and LaPierre responded to assist, arriving on scene at 3:34 p.m. The Rangers quickly reached the hiker on the ski trails and began to carry her down the mountain to an ATV. After loading the hiker onto the ATV, the Rangers continued down the mountain to the meet the Wilmington Rescue Squad, waiting to provide additional medical treatment. A 7:15 p.m., all resources were cleared of the scene.

Town of Keene
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Sept. 26 at 5:15 p.m. DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a group of hikers on Pitchoff Mountain reporting that one of their group had fallen, hit her head, and lacerated her leg. Forest Rangers Praczkajlo, LaPierre, Sabo, van Laer, and Evans responded to the East Trailhead. Upon arriving on scene, the Rangers determined the subject was unable to walk out on her own. Rangers requested assistance from the Keene Valley Backcountry Rescue for assistance. With the bleeding stopped, rescuers started the rugged carry-out and arrived back at the trailhead at 9:32 p.m. The 51-year-old hiker from Westport was turned over to Keene Ambulance for further medical treatment.

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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. Glenn says:

    People wandering around in the Mountains
    that shouldn’t be. If you hurt yourself on Baker Mountain you should have stayed home. Why are so many people that aren’t prepared to do this activity putting themselves and rescuers in danger? It’s about time for NYS to go on social media and start discouraging people from running up into the Adirondacks like it’s going to the Mall. Overcrowding, litter, trail erosion injuries because of irresponsibility. Where’s the common sense?

    • laurie says:

      Accidents can happen anywhere. You have no idea what level of preparation or experience any one of the people in the rescues above had.

      • Lawrence Keefe says:

        Right on Laurie. Belittling hikers on Baker Mountain or anywhere else is not very welcoming is it? People twist ankles and injure themselves in their own homes. Accidents can and do happen anywhere. Where is the common sense indeed?

        • Glenn says:

          I wasn’t trying to belittle anyone. I was coming from my experience. Like the time we were hiking out and there was an individual hiking in, we stopped to talk. He was sweating profusely and breathing heavily. We knew he was prepared and had given some thought about his trek since he had a half a bottle of water in his back pocket and was wearing sandals. I apologize if I offended anyone with my insensitive comment. What ever was I thinking.

          • Ed says:

            Glenn , I agree with you . Just speak your mind on what you see , it’s your right . Some people can’t handle the truth and have to learn things the hard way , and pay for it so it really sinks in .

            • Boreas says:

              What concerns me, based upon sparse details given in the narratives, it sounds like these older hikers may have been hiking alone. It would be good to get party size in every account. It is not a good idea to hike alone at any age.

  2. Cynthia Socci says:

    Thank you for reporting the backcountry hiker injuries, carry-outs and rescues with details sufficient to fully appreciate two things: first, to be mindful of how easy it can be to sustain an injury, and most of all, how all manner of professional efforts are then applied by DEC, Forest rangers rangers, NYSP Aviation, local Fire Departments, and ski centers. All the coordinated rescue responses are so appreciated and should never be taken for granted. They serve as ongoing education for your readers.

  3. Richard Greguski says:

    As always, thanks to the DEC for responding. My wife & I were involved in a rescue this past August on Liw’s Ridge. We have been hiking the Adirondacks for more than 40 years & have never had an incident. Anyone who thinks they are immune from an accident should not be “running around in the mountains” either. We will always be grateful that the rangers that respond are so helpful & kind.

  4. Richard Greguski says:

    We agree that hiking alone is not a great idea, even if we’ll prepared. We never have & probability is that we won’t going forward.

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