KEENE — Forest rangers stationed in the Adirondacks responded to wilderness areas in the towns of Keene and Newcomb over the past week to assist lost hikers.
Hiker rescued from Mt. Marcy trail
Last Thursday at 5:14 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook dispatch received a call from a hiker reporting he was concerned that his 18-year-old friend was lost after the pair were separated on the trail for Mount Marcy in the High Peaks Wilderness Area.
After speaking with the caller, Rangers Robert Praczkajlo and Hannah O’Connor responded to assist. Once on scene, Praczkajlo and O’Connor made contact with the reporting party at Marcy Dam. Praczkajlo continued up the trail to locate the lost hiker while O’Connor began to escort the friend out of the woods.
Lt. Kevin Burns advised that Ranger Andrew Lewis would respond to the Garden parking lot and begin to hike up the Mount Marcy trail from Johns Brook Valley. Lewis was forced to posthole while walking with snowshoes.
At 12:46 a.m., the lost hiker from Southbury, Connecticut, texted Ray Brook dispatch, advising that he was on the yellow trail that leads to the Adirondack Loj. The subject also provided his coordinates. At 2 a.m., Lewis located fresh snowshoe tracks leading to the lost hiker. The hiker was suffering from exposure due to the high number of stream crossings. Two additional rangers also responded but were turned around by high water levels and deteriorating trail conditions while attempting to reach the Johns Brook interior outpost. Lewis provided the hiker with warm clothing, food, and water. Together the ranger and the hiker reached the outpost safely at 6:15 a.m. After resting for a few hours, the ranger and the hiker walked back to the trailhead and the hiker was released to his parents at 10:45 a.m.
On Sunday at 3:45 p.m., Ray Brook dispatch was contacted by a 39-year-old hiker from Gansevoort reporting that he was lost and confused on the ridge between Santanoni Peak and Panther Mountain in the High Peaks Wilderness Area.
The hiker provided coordinates from his cell phone, plotting him at an approximately 4,300-foot elevation and 6 miles from the Bradley Pond trailhead. Ray Brook dispatch provided cell phone coordinates (pings) that allowed Ranger Scott Sabo to track the hiker’s movements on a map.
Sabo contacted the lost hiker and made numerous attempts to assist him in using his own map and compass to locate the trail. The hiker was then instructed to stay at that location and shelter from the wind and rain until rangers arrived. At approximately 5:30 p.m., with poor weather conditions and less than favorable trail conditions, Rangers Chris Dicintio and Logan Quinn departed for the ridge on Sanatoni Peak via the Bradley Pond trail. Sabo remained in the Newcomb area to coordinate rescue efforts and assist with communications. At 11 p.m., rangers located the hiker a short distance off the path leading to Santanoni Peak. The hiker utilized a whistle to alert rangers to his location. After conducting a medical assessment, the group began their descent back to the Bradley Pond trail. All parties were clear of the scene at 2:30 a.m.