Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Two hikers suffer leg injuries due to icy conditions on Mt. Marcy, Saddleback Cliffs

forest ranger reportTown of Arietta
Hamilton County
Public Service:
 On Oct. 27, with the help of New York State Police Aviation, Forest Rangers Kerr, Nally, Thompson, and DEC Forester Desantis conducted sling load missions into the West Canada Lake Wilderness. Rangers were dropped off at West Lake and South Lake and received four sling loads of lean-to supplies at each site to replace aging structures.

Rangers and Foresters spent the night and hiked out the next day, clearing an estimated 10 miles of trails.

Sling load mission. DEC photo.

Town of Bleeker
Fulton County
Wildland Fire:
 On Oct. 30 at 1:05 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance for a wildland fire off of Lake Edward Road in the town of Bleeker. Three Rangers joined firefighters from six fire departments to work on suppression efforts. By 6:40 p.m., firefighters contained the 18.8-acre fire. One camper trailer was destroyed. Two other structures were protected by fire crews. Rangers are continuing suppression efforts until the fire is declared out. The fire was caused by debris burning.

 

Towns of Keene and North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescues:
 On Oct. 30 at 1:30 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance for a hiker with a lower leg injury near the summit of Mount Marcy. Due to the location and severity of the injury, Rangers Lewis and Praczkajlo called for New York State Police (NYSP) Aviation assistance. NYSP Pilot Kotronis flew the Rangers to the location. Ranger Lewis was lowered down to the injured 40-year-old who fractured their leg after slipping on ice while descending from the summit, sliding approximately 30 feet, and crashing into a rock. Ranger Lewis splinted the injury and put the hiker, from Newark, New York, in a harness. Ranger Praczkajlo hoisted the hiker before hoisting Ranger Lewis. At 3:40 p.m., Pilot Kotronis flew the patient to Adirondack Medical Center for surgery and treatment for her injuries.

At about the same time, Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance with another hiker with a leg injury near the Saddleback Cliffs in the town of Keene, Essex County. Pilot Kotronis flew Rangers Lewis and Praczkajlo to the location. Rangers spoke to the 69-year-old from Latham on the phone and guided him to crawl to a safe location for a hoist rescue. The hiker had slipped on an icy and muddy slab, broken his leg, and suffered a laceration to his calf caused by a spruce root. Ranger Lewis was lowered down to harness the subject. Ranger Praczkajlo hoisted the hiker and then Ranger Lewis. At 5:05 p.m., Pilot Kotronis flew the patient to Adirondack Medical Center for surgery and treatment for his injuries.

Both hikers had microspikes, but with ice measuring approximately six inches thick, crampons and an ice axe are suggested to help avoid falls. Without the help of NYSP Aviation, these two rescues would have taken many hours, delaying medical care for the two patients.

Hoist rescue at Saddleback Cliffs. DEC photo.

Hoist rescue on Mount Marcy. DEC photo.

Hoist rescue at Saddleback Cliffs. DEC photo.

Hoist rescue at Saddleback Cliffs. DEC photo.

 

Village of Poland
Herkimer County
Wildland Fire:
 On Oct. 30 at 12:30 p.m., Forest Rangers McCartney and Murphy responded to a call for a wildland fire on Newport Road in the village of Poland. Rangers estimated the fire was 7.2 acres. Rangers and four fire departments worked together to contain the fire, which was caused by debris burning, by 3 p.m. Rangers are continuing suppression efforts until the fire is declared out.

Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hike Smart NYAdirondack Backcountry Information, and Catskill Backcountry Information webpages for more information.

If a person needs a Forest Ranger, whether it’s for a search and rescue, to report a wildfire, or to report illegal activity on state lands and easements, they should call 833-NYS-RANGERS. If a person needs urgent assistance, they can call 911. To contact a Forest Ranger for information about a specific location, the DEC website has phone numbers for every Ranger listed by region.

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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.




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