Rangers search High Peaks for missing N.J. man

Last seen Sept. 2 near Wallface Mountain

Alex Stevens, 28, of Hopewell, New Jersey (Photo provided by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation)

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is asking for the public’s help regarding a New Jersey man last seen nine days ago in the High Peaks Wilderness.

DEC spokesman David Winchell said the man they are looking for, Alex Stevens, 28, of Hopewell, New Jersey, was last seen on Saturday Sept. 2 near the base of Wallface Mountain, a remote location in the middle of the High Peaks Wilderness.

The search for Stevens has only been going on for two days. Winchell said DEC’s Ray Brook dispatch center first received a call from a family member of Stevens at 1:25 p.m. Sunday, reporting him overdue from a three-day hike in the southern High Peaks Wilderness he apparently began eight days prior.

After the dispatcher received the call, three DEC forest rangers responded to the Upper Works trailhead at the end of Upper Works Road off Essex County Route 25 in Newcomb, where they located Stevens’s vehicle. An entry in the trailhead register dated for Sept. 2 indicated Stevens planned to spend three days in the wilderness.

Winchell also said DEC believes Stevens may have been planning to camp in the area around Wallface Mountain.

Wallface Mountain and Indian Pass are seen at right from an airplane in November 2015. At left is the snowcapped MacIntyre Range: from left, Algonquin, Boundary and Iroquois peaks. (Enterprise photo — Shaun Kittle)

On Sunday, the three rangers searched the trails on foot leading from the Upper Works trailhead while two additional rangers joined the search effort in the New York State Police’s Aviation Unit helicopter.

Winchell said Sunday’s search effort ended at dark with no sign of Stevens.

On Monday, 27 rangers searched for Stevens. The helicopter was used again while two volunteer professional climbers joined the search. The search was ongoing as of 4:30 p.m. Monday.

Winchell added that state police investigators are working with the Hopewell Township Police Department to collect any information that may assist the search effort.

Winchell said when Stevens was last seen on Sept. 2, he was wearing sandals, shorts and a dark blue T-shirt. Winchell added that Stevens, who typically wears glasses and his long hair in a bun, may also have been carrying a green, light backpack with an attached silver foam bed roll.

Anyone with knowledge of Stevens’ whereabouts is encouraged to contact Ray Brook-based state police at 518-897-2000.