Rangers recover bodies of missing people, help lost hiker

Forest Ranger Hannah O’Connor rides a fat bike from Mount Pisgah to Dewey Mountain as part of a forest ranger team in the Saranac Lake 3P race March 5. (Enterprise photo — Parker O’Brien)

Forest rangers with the state Department of Environmental Conservation recently recovered the bodies of two people who died in the Adirondack backcountry. They also helped a lost hiker relocate a snow-covered trail near Mount Marcy, trained for future emergencies and competed in the unusual 3P race in Saranac Lake.

Lost Marcy hiker

On Feb. 27 at 3:15 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch requested forest ranger assistance with a lost hiker in the vicinity of Mount Marcy. The 51-year-old from New Jersey lost the trail due to snow cover. Coordinates placed the hiker near the Hopkins Junction.

Rangers Peter Evans and Hannah O’Connor made phone contact with the hiker and guided him back toward the Van Hoevenberg trail. Evans reached the hiker near Marcy Dam. The subject was approaching hypothermic conditions. Evans brought the subject back to his vehicle, and no further medical care was required. Resources were clear at 8 p.m.

Lowville man found dead

On March 2 at 9 a.m., Lowville police requested forest ranger assistance with the search for a missing person last seen three days earlier. Six rangers joined three sheriff’s deputies and two members of the Lowville Police Department in the search.

At 2:45 p.m., tree crews working in the area reported seeing a body in Mill Creek. Rangers responded and found the deceased 67-year-old from Lowville. Rangers removed the man’s body using a litter and rope system.

Snowmobiler found dead

On March 4 at 2:15 a.m., Essex County requested forest ranger assistance with the search for a missing person suspected of falling through the ice while snowmobiling on Schroon Lake earlier in the evening. Rangers responded in an airboat.

The snow and wind slowed the response. At 8:47 a.m., the 71-year-old from Schenectady was found deceased. Rangers transported the body to shore and turned the body over to Schroon Lake rescue personnel. The case was turned over to New York State Police investigators.


On March 2 and 3, Forest Ranger Evan Donegan led 20 rangers in mountain rescue training on Gore Mountain in North Creek. The training included accessing and evaluating an injured patient in technical winter terrain, and using a rope rescue system to get a patient to safety.

Saranac Lake 3P racers

On March 5, six off-duty forest rangers participated in the Saranac Lake 3P (Pedal, Paddle, and Pole.) Capt. Kevin Burns skied down the slope of Mount Pisgah, Hannah O’Connor rode a fat bike from Mount Pisgah to Dewey Mountain, Robert Praczkajlo went cross-country skiing at Dewey Mountain, Matthew Adams biked to Beaver Park, Andrew Lewis paddled from Beaver Park to the Saranac Lake Fish and Game Club, and Nicole DuChene ran uphill from the game club to the Mount Pisgah finish line. The team finished in third place out of 13 teams with a time of 1 hour and 45 minutes.


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