Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Five Whiteface Mt. hikers lose trail at night

Forest Ranger Report graphic

Town of Keene
Essex County
Training: On Jan. 22, Forest Rangers Mecus and Rooney worked on their climbing skills in the Trap Dike, a class four climb that should only be attempted by those with proper experience and equipment. Rangers Mecus and Rooney are expert climbers and used this opportunity to prepare for potential rescues.

Rangers Mecus and Rooney in the Trap Dike

Rangers Mecus and Rooney in the Trap Dike. NYS DEC photo.

Hamlet of Ray Brook
Essex County
Training: On Jan. 24, six DEC Communication Specialists participated in a CPR course, the first step in the new Emergency Medical Dispatch certification. Successful completion of the course allows Communication Specialists to provide emergency callers with medical assistance until Forest Rangers arrive on scene.

people participate in CPR training

CPR training for DEC Communication Specialists. NYS DEC photo.

Town of Horicon
Warren County
Training: On Jan. 25, Forest Ranger Lieutenant Arnold and five Rangers from DEC Region 5 participated in flat ice rescue training. Rangers used an airboat to get close to the subject while preserving the stability of the ice the subject was holding on to. Rangers practiced swimming to the subject to tether a rescue rope and then pulling the subject onto the boat. The training is essential as weather to date has not been consistently cold enough for local bodies of water to completely freeze over. More information about ice safety is available at DEC’s website.

Flat ice rescue training in Horicon

Flat ice rescue training in Horicon. NYS DEC photo.

Town of Wilmington
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue: On Jan. 28 at 4:25 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a group of five hikers who lost the trail on Whiteface Mountain. At 5:52 p.m., Forest Rangers learned one of the hikers had injured their ankle. Ranger Black served as Incident Commander with six Rangers in the first wave of responders and another six Rangers and three members of Search and Rescue of the Northern Adirondacks (SARNAK) prepared to assist with carry-out efforts. At 10:30 p.m., Rangers reached the hiking group from New Jersey, checked out the injured ankle, provided extra layers for warmth for all five subjects, and helped walk the group down the trail. Resources were clear at 1:22 a.m.

Whiteface rescue

Whiteface rescue. NYS DEC photo.

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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