Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Winter-like conditions on Marcy make for difficult rescue

marcy rescueRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of North Elba/Keene
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On May 8 at 10:48 a.m., Franklin County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting an injured hiker on the summit of Mt. Marcy. The hiker, a 52-year-old woman from Bailey, CO, had slipped on the ice and suffered a hip injury. Nine Forest Rangers and two volunteers from the Search and Rescue of the Northern Adirondacks (SARNAK) responded to the Adirondak Loj to evacuate the injured hiker. New York State Police Aviation was requested, but unfavorable weather conditions prevented any flights. At 4:39 p.m., Forest Rangers Mecus and LaPierre reached the subject and determined the injury was non-weight bearing. While waiting for additional resources to arrive on scene, Rangers stabilized the injury and constructed a small shelter to prevent further cold exposure.

marcy rescue at nightA Lake Placid EMS Paramedic also responded to the summit to provide additional care. The hiker was packaged in a litter at 6:58 p.m., and rescuers began the carry-out. Poor trail conditions (two to three feet of snowpack and ice) led to a slow evacuation for the exhausted rescuers. Additional Forest Rangers responded to relieve the first team of rescuers, and with the assistance of New York State Police, began transporting additional rescue personnel to the Marcy Dam Outpost. During the evacuation, one of the rescuers presented possible cardiac symptoms. The EMS Paramedic on scene evaluated and closely monitored the rescuer while the remaining rescuers continued carrying out the injured hiker. At 3 a.m., the two patients were evacuated and transferred to waiting ambulances for transport to a local hospital for medical treatment.

Photos: Cold conditions during hiker rescue on Mt. Marcy/DEC photos

Town of Keene
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On May 8 at 6:04 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiker who lost the trail on Pitchoff Mountain in the Sentinel Range Wilderness Area. The 32-year-old hiker from Nutley, NJ, described himself as fatigued, wet, and disoriented and requested Forest Ranger assistance. Forest Ranger Lt. Burns conducted a phone interview with the hiker and determined the subject was not capable of self-rescuing. At 8:21 p.m., Lt. Burns responded to the scene and located the hiker a short distance from the trail. The hiker was treated for cold exposure, provided a head lamp, and escorted out of the woods. The incident concluded at 11:38 p.m.

Town of Keene
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
On May 9 at 6:13 p.m., the Keene Valley Fire Department requested Forest Ranger assistance to locate a 72-year-old man from Keene Valley who was overdue from a hike. Forest Ranger Mecus responded. At 7:29 p.m., searchers located the missing man, who suffered minor injuries from falling off a ledge. Using a technical rope belay system, Ranger Mecus extracted the man from the ledge. At 9:02 p.m., the subject was transferred to Keene Valley Rescue for transport to a local hospital.

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

5 Responses

  1. Mike Douglass says:

    I am sorry the woman got hurt , but what was she doing on Marcy in the first place , DEC is strongly urging hikers to not go High ! Was she prepared , ice ax , treking poles , traction devices ? So FR’s , State Police and volunteers risk injury !

  2. Boreas says:

    The Marcy rescue is quite a story. It shows the dangers to hikers and rescuers alike. Kudos to all involved in the rescue. My only question – was the hiker alone?

  3. Jim Fox says:

    Courageous, dedicated public servants we are thankful for. Little are we aware of their every day acts.

  4. Bob D. says:

    Grueling for all involved, and esp for the hiker who probably started her Marcy climb around 3am, 24 hours before she was transferred to the ambulance. Kudos for sure.


    Hope hikers are still wearing crampons on icy mountain tops.

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