Rangers stay busy during holidays

State Department of Environmental Conservation forest rangers rescued lost and injured people around the Adirondacks during the Christmas period, including a ice climber who was badly hurt in a fall.

Town of Keene

Just before 11 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 27, a request for assistance came in for a 50-year-old man who had suffered a serious injury after falling while ice climbing. His companions lowered the man safely to the ground.

Nine rangers responded and stabilized the man in a full body splint. He was carried to an off-road vehicle and then transferred to a Lake Placid ambulance. He was taken to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake.

Town of North Elba

On Wednesday, Dec. 19, a woman hiking Mount Colden in the High Peaks texted her mother for assistance after calls to 911 did not go through. The woman was in deep snow near the mountain’s false summit and could not locate the trail.

State Police Aviation attempted to land near the summit of the mountain, but deep snow prevented landing, so a ranger was hoisted into the area just before 4:30 p.m. The ranger was able to assist the woman, and the pair hiked out.

Town of Lake George

At 3:15 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 20, a man and woman requested forest ranger assistance because the Prospect Mountain road and trail were too slippery to go down, even though the pair had climbed up not long before.

Rangers used all-terrain vehicles with chains on the tires to go up the Prospect Mountain toll road and retrieve the pair. The hikers were given instructions on carrying the proper gear when they were returned to the trailhead at about 4:40 p.m.

Town of Keene

On Sunday, Dec. 30 at about 9:30 in the morning, a hiker called DEC dispatch to report that his hiking partner had slipped on some ice, fallen 30 feet and suffered back injuries. The hiker was mobile and was making his way back to the trailhead.

Ranger Robbi Mecus responded and began hiking up the Ridge Trail, where she located the injured man about a quarter-mile above the Washbowl. After being cleared of spinal injuries, the man continued under his own strength to the trailhead, where a Keene Valley ambulance transported him to Elizabethtown Community Hospital.

Town of Bolton

At 5:45 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 30, a pair of hikers called for assistance when they found themselves off trail with no headlamps and limited cellphone power on Cat Mountain.

Two rangers responded, and Ranger Evan Donegan found the pair of hikers just before 8 p.m. They were escorted back to the trailhead in good health.