Rangers respond to Adirondack rescue calls

State Department of Environmental Conservation forest rangers, in addition to being on wildfire patrol, helped several lost and injured people in the Adirondacks last week.

Town of North Elba

On Wednesday, May 10, forest rangers were resupplying the Lake Colden Interior Outpost, along with the state police aviation unit, when a man approached them, requesting help for his hiking companion who had a knee injury. The two men had also lost contact with a third hiking partner.

The hiker with the knee injury was hoisted into the helicopter and was taken directly to Adirondack Medical Center in Lake Placid. The man who reported the injury was also taken out of the backcountry via helicopter. The third man made his own way to the High Peaks Information Center.

Town of Greig

On Friday, May 12, a 75-year-old woman and a horse she was riding fell down a hill in the Independence River Wild Forest. The woman, who is from Wolcott, suffered serious injuries to her extremities when the horse rolled over her.

Three rangers arrived at the woman’s location just over an hour after the initial call, and packaged her for transport via UTV to a waiting ambulance. She was taken to an area hospital for treatment.

Town of Keene

Shortly after 11 p.m. on Friday, May 12, DEC central dispatch in Albany received a report of an overdue hiker on Giant Mountain. The caller said his friend, a 29-year-old man had last made contact at 8 p.m. while descending via Roaring Brook Falls.

Ranger Scott van Laer responded to the scene about two hours later at 1:15 a.m. Saturday, May 13. Van Laer searched for three hours and then requested an additional force of three more rangers. As the additional rangers began searching, the caller contacted his friend and said he had made it out to Route 73, where he was picked up by a resident who took him to the Noonmark Diner.

The rangers met the man at the diner. He said he had lost the trail in the dark, spent the night near a river and then hiked out at first light. He was released to a third party.