NY Forest Rangers Have Back-to-Back Wilderness Rescues

Rangers carry out an injured hiker
Photo/NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

Rick Karlin

Times Union, Albany, N.Y.

(MCT)

State forest rangers were busy with Adirondack and Catskills wilderness rescues over the past week including one in which a woman lost consciousness in the High Peaks, apparently from dehydration, and with a number of back-to-back calls on Saturday.

One rescue began on the evening of May 18 when a ranger assisted a 20-year-old Troy woman who had lost consciousness in the High Peaks’ Indian Falls area, possibly due to dehydration.

When the ranger arrived, members of her hiking party were helping her re-hydrate after she regained consciousness. The ranger arrived at 10:15 p.m. and walked the woman back to the Adirondack Loj, which is the trailhead, at 12:48 a.m. The hiker declined further help at that point.

The day before, a pair of rangers helped a 21-year-old Buffalo woman off Whiteface Mountain after she injured her ankle on the trail. A ranger walked her out to the trailhead by 3:37 p.m. The woman declined medical treatment, stating she would seek medical attention on her own.

And on May 19 at 1:38 p.m., Franklin County 911 transferred a call to dispatchers that a hiker with an ankle injury was near the summit of Ampersand Mountain. Six rangers responded to assist. At 4:30 p.m., the 30-year-old hiker from Rochester was assisted off the mountain by Rangers using a wheeled litter. Once back at the parking lot, the hiker advised that she would seek further medical assistance on her own.

One May 21, Greene County 911 told DEC dispatchers that two hikers from Rochester were lost in the Windham-Blackhead Range Wilderness area of the Catskills.

Rangers reached one of hikers at 10:30 p.m. The hiker said she was unable to continue as she was experiencing symptoms of heat exhaustion. She given basic first aid until she was able to continue. The hiker reached the trailhead at 11:45 p.m., and was reunited with her companion.

The next day, May 22, Washington County 911 contacted dispatchers at 12:20 p.m. advising of a 28-year-old woman from Rensselaer with a non-weight-bearing ankle injury on the trail for Sleeping Beauty Mountain in the Lake George Wild Forest Area.

Two rangers responded and members of the West Fort Ann and Bay Ridge fire departments, along with Fort Ann EMS, responded. The woman was transported with a wheeled litter then to an ATV. She was eventually taken to a local hospital for medical treatment.

Later in the day dispatchers at 6:46 p.m. received a report of a 25-year-old woman from Kinderhook missing from the Upper Works trailhead in the High Peaks Wilderness Area.

She was last seen by a passing hiker four hours earlier approximately four miles from the trailhead. Two rangers responded, along with two fire/rescue personnel and the Lake Colden Caretaker.

One of the fire/rescue people said they found the missing hiker and escorted her back to the trailhead where she was reunited with her hiking party.

At 8:44 p.m. that evening dispatchers got a call from a group at Indian Falls on the Mount Marcy trail reporting that a member of their party had a weight-bearing upper leg injury. They expressed concern because they didn’t believe their light batteries would last long at the rate they were hiking.

After further interviewing the group, a ranger learned they had last seen the injured hiker above the Hopkins Junction trail to Mt. Marcy. One member hiked back up and located the injured hiker one mile above Indian Falls. The subject reported that he needed water but would slowly continue down the trail.

The Marcy Dam caretaker continued up the trail in their direction with supplies, while a ranger brought an UTV, or utility vehicle, to Marcy Dam. Once at Marcy Dam, the 22-year-old man from Catskill received a ride out of the woods via UTV and was reunited with the rest of his hiking group. The subject refused further medical assistance.

rkarlin@timesunion.com 518 454 5758 @RickKarlinTU

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