3 Marcy rescues in one night

DEC, State Police have a busy Saturday in High Peaks

A summit steward, center left, talks to hikers atop Mount Marcy, New York’s highest point, on Sept. 23, 2017. (Enterprise photo — Antonio Olivero)

KEENE — State Department of Environmental Conservation forest rangers conducted three rescues on the tallest mountain in the state this past Saturday.

The rescues all happened in the span of one night, between 4 p.m. and midnight, according to DEC spokeswoman Lori Severino. The string of incidents prompted an all-hands-on-deck response from the DEC’s caretaker of Marcy Dam, a Mount Marcy summit steward, multiple dispatchers, several New York State Police helicopter pilots, an assistant forest ranger and 10 forest rangers — roughly 10% of the state’s total ranger force.

The first call involved a woman who’d made it far up Mount Marcy. She had an unstable lower leg injury, according to Severino. New York State Police Aviation helped rangers find the woman, but the weather conditions prevented rangers from being able to pick up the woman from the helicopter. Instead, rangers had to respond by foot. Mount Marcy has an elevation of 5,344 feet and an elevation gain of roughly 3,166 feet. Trails to the summit range between 7.4 to 9 miles long one-way.

As rangers made their way up the mountain, they spotted a second woman who was experiencing “a potentially serious medical event,” according to Severino. Rangers helped that woman to Marcy Dam, where she was airlifted by State Police helicopter to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake.

After rangers reached the first woman with the leg injury and started carrying her off the mountain, rangers found a third person who was unable to walk after experiencing a neuromuscular condition, according to Severino.

All three people were rescued.

Rescues on Mount Marcy are common, according to Forest Ranger Scott van Laer, who spoke in his role as a delegate of the Police Benevolent Association of New York State. However, three rescues on Marcy in one day is not common, he said.


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