Rangers make four rescues this week in Adirondacks

Forest rangers with the state Department of Environmental Conservation responded to help hikers who were dehydrated, injured, having a medical episode or stranded by a rain-swollen brook this past week in the Adirondacks.

Town of St. Armand

On Aug. 26 at 6:43 p.m., the Lake Placid Police Department transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook dispatch from a 43-year-old male hiker from Arlington, Massachusetts, on Haystack Mountain in the McKenzie Mountain Wilderness Area. The hiker reported feeling the effects of dehydration due to lack of water on the strenuous hike. Coordinates obtained from the hiker’s cellphone placed him 1.75 miles from the trailhead on state Route 86.

Forest Ranger Peter Evans responded and brought bring the hiker water and food. They started the hike out at 6:48 p.m., arriving at the trailhead at 9:17 p.m. The man declined additional medical care.

Town of Waverly

On Aug. 31 at 1:11 p.m., Franklin County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook dispatch reporting an injured 37-year-old female hiker from Fresh Meadows on Azure Mountain. The hiker was descending the trail in the Debar Mountain Wild Forest Area and took a wrong step, causing the injury.

Through additional interviews with dispatch, it was determined that the ankle injury was serious. Cellphone coordinates, obtained through 911, placed the woman just over a half-mile from the trailhead.

Forest rangers Scott Sabo, Peter Evans, Peter Morehouse and Nathaniel Shea and Assistant Forest Ranger Gregory Bowler responded to assist. At 3:51 p.m. they were on scene and heading to meet with the group. After stabilizing the injury, they carried the hiker out to the trailhead, where a St. Regis Falls ambulance was waiting and brought her to a local hospital for treatment.

Town of Keene

On Aug. 31 at 6:41 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook dispatch reporting two hikers who came upon a man they described as unresponsive, as well as moaning and breathing heavily. With the coordinates provided by 911, dispatch placed the hikers’ location approximately a quarter-mile up the Johns Brook Trail from the Garden parking lot in Keene Valley.

Forest Rangers James Giglinto, Scott Sabo, Peter Evans and David Russell responded along with the Keene Valley Volunteer Fire Department and emergency medical services. Rangers and volunteers hiked to the man’s location, where they were met by the Johns Brook caretaker. Once medical aid was administered, rangers and volunteers carried the 45-year-old man from Rome back to the parking lot, where he was then transported to a local hospital by Keene Valley EMS.

Town of North Elba

On Sept. 2 at 5:47 p.m., a call came in to DEC’s Ray Brook dispatch from the husband of a hiker who was on the Street and Nye Mountain trail with a hiking group. Earlier in the day, the group had crossed Indian Pass Brook, which has no bridge, on their way to the High Peaks Wilderness Area. However, upon returning to that same crossing, the river had swollen dramatically from heavy rain all day. Stranded with rapids separating them from the trailhead, the two women and one man from Minnesota had called to see what they should do. Forest rangers requested that they remain where they were and that they would quickly respond to help.

Forest Rangers Kevin Burns and James Giglinto entered the backcountry crossing of Indian Pass Brook, which is more than a mile from the trailhead by foot. The rangers arrived at Indian Pass Brook at 7:42 p.m., and after weighing all options, it was decided the hikers should remain in the woods overnight. Rangers managed to get overnight supplies to the hikers using a throw bag and walked them through the process of starting a fire to get warm and comfortable. Rangers returned the next morning to evaluate the conditions, and at 7:13 a.m., Giglinto advised dispatch that he had found the hikers on the Old Nye ski trail and that they were all safely out of the woods.

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