Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Rangers conduct back-to-back rescues on Colden’s trap dike, Van Ho trail

forest ranger reportsRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of North Hudson
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On July 27 at 2:15 p.m., Forest Rangers Quinn and Sabo responded to the Lillian Brook trail near Elk Lake in the Dix Mountain Wilderness Area for a report of a 64-year-old hiker from Southampton with a dislocated shoulder. According to the caller, he received a GPS text message from his parents’ Garmin InReach Emergency Beacon requesting assistance. He stated that his parents were descending South Dix when his father slipped and grabbed a tree to stop his fall resulting in the injury. He also indicated that his parents were continuing to hike out to the trailhead. At 3:30 p.m. Rangers Quinn and Sabo, along with DEC Wildlife Technician Geyer, located the couple approximately two miles from the Elk Lake trailhead. Rangers stabilized the injury and gave the couple an ATV ride to the trailhead. They said they would seek medical attention on their own. All units were clear at 4:30 p.m.

Town of Webb
Herkimer County
Wildland Rescue:
 On July 30 at 9:37 a.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for Forest Ranger assistance from Hamilton County 911 regarding a 75-year-old hiker from Farmington suffering a knee injury from a fall approximately one-third of the way up Rondaxe Mountain. Forest Rangers Evans and Temple responded and were met by rescuers who were with the injured hiker. Rangers Evans and Temple established an anchor and belay system and coordinated lowering of the man through a steep section of exposed granite. He was carried to the trailhead via a wheeled litter and transported by ambulance to a local hospital at 11:07 a.m. Agencies assisting with the rescue included Old Forge Fire, Eagle Bay Fire, Old Forge Ambulance, and Webb Police.

Town of Canton
St. Lawrence County
State Land Enforcement:
 On July 30 at 9:20 p.m., Forest Ranger Shea responded to the Upper/Lower Lake Wilderness Management Area for a report of a party on State land that was also connected to an ongoing criminal mischief investigation from June 21. Ranger Shea witnessed an individual using a pick-up truck to break a chain that locked the gated access to the area, providing access to an additional 50 partygoers. The gathering was quickly dispersed, and the area was cleaned up. A 20-year-old male was taken into custody on a criminal mischief charge and transported to State Police Canton for processing. Assisting with this enforcement action was Forest Ranger Benzel, New York State Police, and the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office.

trap dike rescueTown of Keene
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On July 31 at 5:32 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a report from a hiker in Avalanche Pass that a 22-year-old hiker from Johnson City was yelling for help in the Trap Dike on Mount Colden in the High Peaks Wilderness Area. With only verbal contact with the reporting party, the hiker described an unstable lower leg injury and said he was unable to move. Forest Ranger Lt. Burns requested a NYSP Aviation Unit to assist with transporting a technical rescue team, consisting of two Forest Rangers and two local volunteer climbers, to the base of the Colden Trap Dike. In preparation for a carry out, a second team of six Rangers, two Assistant Forest Rangers, and the Lake Colden Caretaker responded with additional equipment via the Avalanche Pass trail. At 8 p.m., the NYSP Aviation Unit and Rangers located the hiker on a ledge just north of the Trap Dike. Forest Ranger Praczkajlo was lowered down to the hiker’s location and determined the hiker was uninjured. However, the hiker was in a compromised location that required a technical rope rescue. The technical rescue team continued their ascent of the Trap Dike and assisted with safely evacuating the hiker. At 10:46 p.m., the evacuation was complete, and the hiker was reunited with his hiking companion. Rangers were cleared of the incident and responded to another rescue (below).

Ranger Crew Chief Evans and Ranger Praczkajlo help rescue hiker from the Trap Dike on Mount Colden

Town of Keene
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On July 31 at 6:38 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call reporting a hiker approximately one mile above Indian Falls on the Van Ho Trail to Mount Marcy with a non-weight bearing ankle injury. Forest Rangers Lewis and O’Connor and Assistant Forest Ranger Raudonis were redirected from the Trap Dike incident to begin coordinating. Six additional Rangers and a paramedic were also requested to assist. At 9:28 p.m., Forest Rangers located the injured hiker above Indian Falls where they conducted an assessment of her injury and applied a splint to her ankle. At 12:08 a.m., additional Rangers and a paramedic from Trap Dike Rescue arrived on scene and began assisting with the carry out of the hiker. They reached Marcy Dam outpost at 4:06 a.m. and the 24-year-old hiker from Rochester was then taken to South Meadow via UTV and transferred to Lake Placid Ambulance for transport to a local hospital for further medical care. All Ranger units were clear of the incident at 5 a.m.

Rangers with headlamps lighting trail for rescue
Rangers conducting a carry out on the Van Ho trail

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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.

2 Responses

  1. Boreas says:

    Trap Dike is really a fitting name.

  2. Steven Fries says:

    Thankful and grateful for all our NYS Rangers do, along with assisting Troopers, deputies and EMT’s/Paramedics. They all make a difference, every day-as clearly seen in the above rescue articles!