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Rangers rescue hikers after ice sets in

New York state Department of Environmental Conservation forest rangers helped statewide last week as a combination of heavy rain and warm temperatures caused ice jams and dangerous conditions around streams and rivers. In the Adirondacks, rangers also rescued hikers injured due to icy conditions in the backcountry.

Town of Elizabethtown

Shortly before 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 27, forest rangers responded to a 20-year-old woman who had suffered a lower leg injury while hiking on Giant Mountain. The woman had fallen on an icy section of trail about 1.5 miles from the trailhead.

Ranger Robbi Mecus evaluated the injury and determined the woman would not be able to bear weight on it, necessitating a carry-out. A half-dozen more rangers arrived on scene and carried the woman to the trailhead, where a waiting Keene Valley ambulance transported her to Elizabethtown Community Hospital for further treatment.

Town of Thurman

Also on Saturday, state police in Warren County requested forest rangers for a rescue on Crane Mountain just after 5 p.m. A 27-year-old woman fell while descending the mountain and injured her shoulder.

The woman and her hiking partner tried to continue, but the woman couldn’t navigate the steep and icy sections of trail without the use of her arm. The pair tried to move off-trail for better traction, but they became stuck on cliffs about a mile from the trailhead.

Rangers responded in freezing rain conditions and determined that a high-angle rescue was required. The four rangers lowered the hikers from the cliffs before 1 a.m. and then transported them to the trailhead via snowmobile.