Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Rangers locate lost hikers on Sleeping Beauty, at Nicks Lake trail

forest ranger reportsRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Fort Ann
Washington County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Oct. 1 at 6:53 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance from two hikers who became disoriented while hiking Sleeping Beauty Mountain. The 65- and 69-year-old hikers from Long Island were on a trail, but were not sure which trail, as the trail markers were not the same color as the markers on their original trail. Neither hiker had headlamps, maps, food, water, or hiking equipment. At 9:40 p.m., Forest Rangers Donegan and Arnold located the couple on the trail near Bumps Pond, approximately 1.5 miles from the trailhead. The Rangers provided the hikers with jackets, food, and water before escorting them to the trailhead. Forest Rangers and the hikers were back at the trailhead at 12:20 a.m.

Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Oct. 3 at 1:45 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch was notified of a 26-year-old hiker from Brooklyn having seizures near Avalanche Pass in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness Area. Four Forest Rangers, two Assistant Forest Rangers, and the Marcy Dam Caretaker responded to assist. At 2:12 p.m., rescuers located the hiker, performed a medical assessment, and helped them back to the trailhead. At 4:13 p.m., the hiker was turned over to Lake Placid Rescue for transport to a local hospital.

Town of Newcomb
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Oct. 3 at 2:09 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch was notified by the Lake Colden Caretaker that she was with a 68-year-old hiker from Vermontville displaying symptoms of hypothermia. Caretaker Kelly warmed the hiker and began escorting her toward the Marcy Dam Outpost. Forest Ranger Evans met the hiker at the outpost and continued to assist her out of the woods. They reached the trailhead at 5:32 p.m.

Town of Webb
Herkimer County
Wilderness Search:
 On Oct. 3 at 5:09 p.m., Forest Ranger McCartney received a call from Nicks Lake Campground staff reporting two lost hikers in the vicinity of Nelson Lake Outlet in the Black River Wild Forest. The husband and wife from Chittenango set out around noon to hike the 4.7-mile Nicks Lake Loop trail, when they changed their plans and attempted to complete the Nicks Lake Outlet trail, unknowingly adding 14 miles to their hike. The couple began to realize they were in trouble around 3 p.m., but continued onward until they were off the trail and lost. They were both wet and didn’t have a source of light to help them navigate. The couple sent a photograph of a map from their smartphone showing their location near the outlet of Nelson Lake. Forest Ranger McCartney canoed downstream from the Nelson Lake trailhead on the Middle Branch of the Moose River to the vicinity of the lost hikers and made contact at 6:53 p.m. Ranger McCartney shuttled the couple across the river to shore, where they hiked the railbed back to the trailhead and met Ranger Lt. Hoag for transport back to the campground.

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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.

11 Responses

  1. Paul says:

    “Neither hiker had headlamps, maps, food, water, or hiking equipment.”


  2. Walter Wouk says:

    This is an oft repeated story regarding unprepared hikers.

    • Boreas says:

      Some people from out of the area do not consider themselves “hikers”. We are just out for a walk on a “park” trail.

      I am not familiar with that trailhead, but sometimes I think people are not familiar with backcountry trails. I am not making excuses, but perhaps something like trail difficulty should be posted.

  3. Zephyr says:

    The problem is that people don’t know what they don’t know, and no amount of educational material can explain how the woods gets really, really dark. But, the biggest problem is that people just do not believe their smartphones won’t always have all the information they need, and may not even get a signal in many places in the Adirondacks. The most useful trailhead sign might be one that says something like, “CAUTION: Your smartphone will lose signal on this trail and will not be usable without offline maps.” Right next to that caution should be a map of the trails that can be easily photographed. I don’t know how many times I have been very happy I photographed some map of a trail system. That and requiring every hiker to carry a flashlight.

    • JohnL says:

      Agree with you Z. And I, like you, take pictures of lots of things. Trail maps, the Specials Board at restaurants, a particular item in a store that I might want to buy, etc. The camera is a huge part of the attraction of phones for me. As well, of course, as having the entire wealth of knowledge of the human race at my fingertips.

  4. Charlie Stehlin says:

    “The camera is a huge part of the attraction of phones for me. As well, of course, as having the entire wealth of knowledge of the human race at my fingertips.”

    Yeah but….what if the technology fails? A camera is fine as I never leave home without one, but it’s a camera, not a camera in a phone. It functions as a camera only. The entire wealth of knowledge is vast and who needs all of that information anyway when you’re in the woods hiking on a trail. Seems to me we take away from the real experience because we’re not in the real world, and too often when we are…we’re not prepared as the above case reveals.

    • JohnL says:

      Hi Charlie. I assume your camera employs some sort of technology too. So, the same as the camera in my phone, it also is susceptible to failure. As for the wealth of knowledge of the entire human race is concerned, when I’m hiking, I, like you, don’t need to know any of that to enjoy nature. But, it’s there for the times when I DO need, or want it. Kind of like I don’t need all the tools in my old fashioned tool belt all the time. But, the hammer’s there when I do need it. The beauty of this discussion is that you can do your thing and I can do mine. Nobody is telling either of us what we both must do. It’s good to hear from you again Charlie. Be well!

    • Boreas says:

      I LOVE the phone in my camera because it is always with me and takes a decent picture. But my phone is a miserable excuse for a flashlight – and even worse as a substitute for a water bottle.

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