7 more ranger rescues last week

Forest rangers with the state Department of Environmental Conservation responded to seven backcountry search and rescue calls in the Adirondacks in the past week.

That is the same number as the week before. This week rangers were also busier than usual in other parts of New York, with three search and rescue calls in the Catskills as well. Just the Adirondack calls are included here.

Ankle injury in High Peaks

On Thursday, Oct. 1 at 5:42 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook dispatch received a call from a 65-year-old hiker from Long Meadow, Massachusetts, reporting he had injured his ankle near MacIntyre Falls in the High Peaks Wilderness, town of North Elba. The hiker said his hiking party braced his injury and that he would hobble down the trail with them.

Ranger LaPierre responded, hiking up the trail to the man’s location while Rangers Evans, Burns, Gliddi and Booth came in with a six-wheel all-terrain vehicle. Once on scene, LaPierre splinted the injury and assisted the hiking party to the Whale’s Tail Junction, where they were met by the secondary group of rangers and driven out to the trailhead to their vehicle.

Disoriented in the dark

On Friday, Oct. 2 at 9:30 p.m., Warren County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook dispatch from two hikers who became disoriented on Pole Hill Pond in the Warren County town of Bolton. The hikers, from Brookhaven, Long Island, did not have a light source or warm clothing with them as temperatures dropped. Dispatch advised the hikers to stay where they were until help arrived. Warren County 911 shared coordinates to the hikers’ location as their only working cellphone battery died.

Rangers Donegan and Kabrehl responded to assist, arriving on scene at 10:30 p.m. Voice contact was made at 12:15 a.m., and the hikers were found off the trail at 12:33 a.m. Rangers escorted the couple back to their vehicle at the trailhead.

Chopper rescue on Phelps

On Saturday, Oct. 3 at 10:27 a.m., DEC’s Ray Brook dispatch received a call reporting a hiker had suffered an ankle injury on the trail for Phelps Mountain in the High Peaks Wilderness Area, town of North Elba.

Rangers Mecus and Balerno responded with a State Police Aviation helicopter while Ranger Burns assembled a ground crew for a carry-out as a backup. Once a safe opening occurred, Mecus was lowered to the injured hiker and, with the assistance of Assistant Forest Ranger Engel and Marcy Dam Caretaker Kelly, placed the hiker into a harness to hoist up to the helicopter. The 50-year-old hiker from Buffalo was flown to a local hospital for medical treatment.

Coordinates hard to find

On Saturday, Oct. 3 at 1:31 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook dispatch from a hiker lost while hiking out to the trailhead on Crane Pond Road in the town of Schroon. After numerous attempts, 911 advised that they were not able to obtain coordinates for the hiker’s location. The 39-year-old from Cheshire, Connecticut, believed he was somewhere in the woods northeast of Glidden Marsh.

Rangers Arnold and Perryman, along with Assistant Forest Ranger Gonyeau, searched the area with negative results. Rangers hiked out due to darkness and resumed search operations at daylight with State Police Aviation on standby.

While Essex County 911 had Verizon ping the lost man’s cellphone, the hiker texted forest rangers his coordinates from the compass application on his phone. The coordinates from the phone were 3.4 miles away from the coordinates provided by Verizon. Forest rangers responded to the coordinates given by the camper, made initial voice contact at 9:05 a.m., and at 9:40 a.m., Ranger Quinn located the hiker and escorted him out of the woods by 12:35 p.m.

Hurt on Cranberry 50

On Saturday, Oct. 3 at 4:21 p.m., St. Lawrence 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook dispatch reporting that a hiker on the Cranberry 50 trail had injured his back and could not walk due to the pain.

Rangers Baldwin and Morehouse responded by boat with members of the Cranberry Lake and Star Lake Fire Departments. Once on scene, the 62-year-old hiker from Wilton, Connecticut, was packaged into the litter, put in the boat and driven back to shore. Once on shore, the injured hiker was turned over to the Star Lake ambulance service for transport to a local hospital.

Another at Pole Hill Pond

On Saturday, Oct. 3 at 7:53 p.m., Warren County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook dispatch from a hiker stating that she and her 8-year-old daughter were stuck on the trail for Pole Hill Pond. The hiker stated that they did not have any light sources and that she had fallen, causing minor injuries.

Rangers Donegan and Kabrehl responded to the pair’s location along with the Bolton fire and rescue squads. Rangers proceeded up to the trail to locate the stranded family from Saratoga Springs, and Ranger Donegan advised that he was with the pair at 10:48 p.m. After being assessed by rangers, the mother and daughter were provided light sources and safely escorted back to the trailhead. At 10:58 p.m., the incident concluded, and all emergency service providers were cleared the scene.

Teen, parents separated

On Sunday, Oct. 4 at 3:34 p.m., Hamilton County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook dispatch reporting a missing 14-year-old hiker from Canajoharie who became separated from his parents on Good Luck Mountain, part of the Ferris Lake Wild Forest in the Hamilton County town of Arietta.

Rangers Kerr and Milano responded to the trailhead to look for the lost hiker. At 5:15 p.m., Kerr met the hiker a couple of miles up an adjoining snowmobile trail. They proceeded back to the trailhead, and the teenage boy was reunited with his parents at 5:45 p.m.


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