Rescues range from lost hikers to flipped kayaks

Forest rangers with the state Department of Environmental Conservation carried out six backcountry rescue missions in the Adirondacks in the past week.

That week included the Columbus Day long weekend, which is commonly the busiest of the year for hiking in the Adirondack High Peaks region. Nevertheless, the week’s number of rescues dropped by one compared to each of the prior two weeks, when rangers were involved in seven Adirondack rescues.

Lost on Street-Nye

On Monday, Oct. 5 at 7:45 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook dispatch reporting two hikers lost off the Street and Nye mountains trail in the High Peaks Wilderness Area, in the Essex County town of North Elba.

Forest Ranger Andrew Lewis responded and located the hikers, who were from Rochester, at 9:51 p.m. before starting the trek back to the trailhead. At 11:18 p.m., Lewis and the couple arrived back to the trailhead at the Adirondak Loj and were cleared from the scene.

Overnight in Santanoni range

On Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 2:30 a.m., DEC’s Central Dispatch received a call reporting a couple that was overdue from a hike in the Santanoni range of the western High Peaks Wilderness, in the Essex County town of Newcomb. The caller indicated he did not think they had the proper gear for an overnight stay.

Forest Ranger Logan Quinn responded and located the hikers, who were from Schenectady, at 7:09 a.m. The hikers explained that they ran out of light before darkness fell and built a fire to spend the night. Quinn and the hikers proceeded back to the trailhead, and by 9:30 a.m., the incident concluded.

Lost on Catamount

On Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 5:24 p.m., Franklin County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook dispatch from lost hikers from Watertown on Catamount Mountain, in the Clinton County town of Black Brook. The hikers were descending from the summit when they lost the trail and found themselves on ledges.

Forest Rangers Peter Evans and David Russell responded to assist. With conflicting coordinates given by 911 and a hiker’s cellphone mapping application, Russell requested the hikers contact 911 again. Rangers ultimately made voice contact with the hikers at 8:39 p.m. and located them shortly thereafter. The hikers were assisted off the ledges and escorted back to the trailhead.

Overturned kayaks

On Saturday, Oct. 10 at 10:28 a.m., DEC’s Ray Brook dispatch received a call from a passerby stating that three kayakers overturned their boats in the Hamilton County town of Long Lake. Two of the kayakers were able to right themselves, but the third was still struggling in the water.

Forest Ranger Peter Evans and Assistant Forest Ranger Dan Woughter responded. Woughter arrived first on scene and was able to get the 35-year-old man from the Bronx out of the water and to shore to begin treatment for moderate hypothermia. Evans was able to drive to their location and transport the man back to his vehicle, where he refused further medical treatment.

Head injury on Coney

On Sunday, Oct. 11 at 12:54 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook dispatch received a call from a group of hikers on Coney Mountain in the Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest, in the Franklin County town of Tupper Lake, reporting a hiker with a head injury.

Forest Ranger Peter Evans responded along with Assistant Forest Rangers Dan Woughter and Greg Bowler. At 1:56 p.m., they located the 61-year-old woman from Tupper Lake, began treating her injury and escorted her out of the woods. At 3:38 p.m., rangers turned the injured hiker over to the Tupper Lake rescue squad for transportation to a local hospital for further medical attention.

Teen hiker helped

On Monday, Oct. 12 at 1:45 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook dispatch was notified that Assistant Forest Ranger Jonathan Leff was with a 17-year-old hiker from Schenectady who was suffering from slight hypothermia and asthma on the Algonquin Peak trail in the High Peaks Wilderness, in the Essex County town of North Elba.

Rangers Megan LaPierre and Robbi Mecus responded to assist. Leff gave the hiker warm clothes, food and water, and they proceeded to slowly begin hiking back down the trail. At 4:07 p.m., LaPierre and Mecus met up with them on the trail and did an additional medical assessment of the hiker. At 4:58 p.m., they were off the mountain and back at the Adirondak Loj, where LaPierre contacted the hiker’s family.


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