Wednesday, January 3, 2024

South Dix Mt. hiker endures fall, grabs tree to prevent going off cliff

Forest Ranger Report graphic

Town of Keene
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue: On Dec. 22 at 3:45 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch received a call about a hiker with knee and upper leg injuries after a fall on Knob Lock Mountain. Forest Rangers Black, Foutch, Mecus, O’Connor, and Praczkajlo reached the 71-year-old from Westport and carried him out using a backpack carrier system. The Rangers and subject reached the roadside by 6:40 p.m. The hiker decided to seek further medical attention on his own. View a video of part of the rescue here.

Forest rangers conduct a wilderness rescue

Knob Lock Mountain rescue. NYS DEC photo.

City of Plattsburgh
Clinton County
Overdose Rescue: On Dec. 22 at 5:55 p.m., Forest Ranger Lieutenant Booth responded to an emergency call in Plattsburgh for an overdose with CPR in progress. Lieutenant Booth administered four doses of Narcan to resuscitate the patient. EMS transported the 33-year-old to the hospital at 6:34 p.m.

Town of North Hudson
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue: On Dec. 26 at 5:30 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch called Forest Ranger Martin about a hiker who had slipped off the summit of South Dix Mountain. Ranger Martin asked the 46-year-old from South Glens Falls to call 911 so responders could acquire her coordinates. She had fallen several hundred feet down steep snow and a rockslide before grabbing a small spruce tree, which prevented her from going over a vertical cliff face. The conditions were treacherous with pouring rain, soaking wet spruce tree cover, deep snow, and slippery ice. In addition to a higher likelihood of injury, these conditions also lead to potential hypothermia. Rangers Lewis and Martin reached the subject at 1:30 a.m., provided warm liquids, food, and dry clothing, and guided the subject out of the vegetation and back to the trail. The Rangers reached her vehicle at 6:30 a.m. Watch a video of Ranger Martin describing the rescue and dangerous conditions here.


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.

Related Stories

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

2 Responses

  1. Rick says:

    First, a sincere salute to Rangers Lewis and Martin for a job well done on a day that must have been close to a full 24 hours of work for them. Ranger Martin’s video was reassuring to know there are competent people willing to back up those of us who choose to venture into the mountains.

    Second, I’ve learned over the course of many decades, my life has been more enriched by having multiple areas of interest so that when Plan A for a given day would put myself or others in danger or at risk, I can have a fulfilling day with Plan B.

    Glad this story had a successful outcome and that the young lady has survived to climb again, hopefully under more favorable and enjoyable conditions.

  2. Boreas says:

    Kudos again to the Ranger rescue on S. Dix. Also, kudos to the hiker for keeping her head and persevering until help got to her. Keeping a level head in a situation like that is imperative. Glad everything came home in one piece.

    I found myself similarly stuck toward the top of the big slide on Macomb the day I finished my 46. On loose scree, every move I made, I slid down 6-8 feet. With nothing below me but slide, it took me about a half hour to inch my way 10 yards or so into some trees. Weather was beautiful that day, so I was lucky, and ended my hike on E. Dix (now Grace). No cell phones back then. Hiking solo has its advantages and disadvantages.

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *