Rangers help lost hikers, flipped kayakers

State Department of Environmental Conservation forest rangers recently helped a pair of kayakers who had flipped, as well as a number of lost hikers — including two who called for a taxi ride from the summit of Whiteface Mountain.

Town of North Elba

On Friday, May 17, DEC dispatch received a call about a missing 33-year-old Saranac Lake man who had become separated from his party while hiking Mount Jo. The party searched trails, but could not locate their companion.

Two forest rangers arrived and began interviewing the hiking party. The man was then brought to Adirondack Loj after accidentally following a herd path to the Last Chance Ranch. The caretaker of the Ranch drove the man back to the trailhead.

Town of Harrietstown

Just after 8 p.m. on Friday, May 17, a call came in about two kayakers who had flipped their boats on Middle Saranac Lake. The reporting party helped the individuals to shore, but the Denver men could not navigate the trail back to the Ampersand parking lot in the dark.

Ranger Scott Sabo responded and located the men just before 10 p.m. and had them at the boat launch by 11.

Town of Minerva

On Saturday, May 18, a 30-year-old female who was lost on Vanderwhacker Mountain called 911 for help. DEC dispatch advised the hiker to remain in her location overnight since the call did not provide much information.

The following morning, rangers and state police aviation spent several hours searching for the hiker. Rangers found the woman at about 2:30 on the afternoon of the 19th after following her footsteps down a drainage.

Town of Wilmington

On Sunday, May 19, Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC dispatch from a pair of hikers who were requesting assistance. The hikers had hiked from Connery Pond to Lake Placid, and taking the advice of an unknown person, decided to hike Whiteface Mountain, which they were told would take about 45 minutes.

After toiling up the fifth highest mountain in the state, hiking through snow and ice for several hours, the hikers called for a taxi ride to their car, which was now about six miles away. They were told that the Whiteface Veteran’s Memorial Toll Road was closed.

Ranger Rob Praczkajlo picked the hikers up at the summit of Whiteface and gave them a courtesy ride back to their vehicle.