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DEC’s fall search and rescue report

October 30, 2013
Lake Placid News

Town of Johnsburg, Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area

On Sunday, Sept. 29, at approximately 5:23 p.m., state Department of Environmental Conservation dispatch in Ray Brook received a report of a missing hiker. Carolyn Reynerd, 79, of Poughkeepsie, who was hiking with a geology group to an old garnet mine from Garnet Hill Lodge. She became separated from the main group and missed a turnoff at approximately 12 p.m. Three forest rangers, an assistant forest ranger and Warren County deputies responded to the search. At 7:15 p.m., Reynerd was located on steep ledges a quarter mile from Garnet Hill Lodge. The forest rangers put Reynerd in a harness and lowered her down to level ground. She was assisted out and assessed by Johnsburg EMS. Reynerd declined any further treatment.

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Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness

On Saturday, Sept. 28, at approximately 5:41 p.m., the DEC dispatch in Ray Brook received a report of an injured hiker. Michael Perlowski, 25, of Plattsburgh, had dislocated his knee while hiking on the Avalanche Pass Trail. A forest ranger and two DEC interior caretakers responded to Perlowski's location. After assessing his injury, Perlowski was assisted down to Marcy Dam and then provided transportation via UTV out to his vehicle. He decided to seek further medical attention on his own.

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Town of Newcomb, High Peaks Wilderness

On Friday, Sept. 27, at 2:15 p.m., a DEC interior caretaker was notified of an injured hiker in need of assistance. Kathleen Cudmore-Bokan, 40, of West Charlton, dislocated her knee on Cliff Mountain. Her husband reset her knee and wrapped it in a bandage. The caretaker assisted the couple to the high water bridge and notified the DEC dispatch in Ray Brook. One forest ranger responded with a UTV and gave the couple a ride back to their vehicle. Cudmore-Bokan chose to seek further medical treatment on her own.

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Town of North Elba, McKenzie Mountain Wilderness

On Wednesday, Sept. 25, at approximately 3:50 p.m., DEC dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting two lost hikers on Whiteface Mountain. Stephen Bressett, 54, of Malone, and Patrick Dailey, 50, of Vero Beach, Fla., had been following a trail from the Whiteface Mountain Memorial Highway but were now lost. Essex County 911 was able to obtain coordinates from their cell phone call. A forest ranger responded by boat to Whiteface Landing and hiked up to the two men. They were both located in good health about halfway up to the summit and 0.2 mile off trail. At 7 p.m. Bressett and Daily were escorted back to the boat and eventually returned to their vehicle in the parking area near the summit of Whiteface Mountain.

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Town of Harrietstown, Saranac Lake Wild Forest

On Tuesday, Sept. 24, at approximately 3:40 p.m., an on-duty forest ranger overheard radio traffic reporting an overturned canoe on Middle Saranac Lake. The DEC forest ranger responded to the scene along with the Saranac Lake Fire Department. Gerald Zumchak, 68, and Susan Zumchak, 66, both of Syracuse, were canoeing and were caught by the wind and capsized their canoe. With the help of their son they made it to the shore, but Mr. Zumchak was very cold and unable to get back in the canoe. Saranac Lake Fire Department brought the Mr. and Mrs. Zumchak out to Saranac Lake Rescue who transported Mr. Zumchak to AMC Saranac for further evaluation.

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Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness

On Saturday, Sept. 21, at approximately 1:52 p.m., an assistant forest ranger was notified by a passing hiker of an injured hiker just above the Phelps Junction on the Van Hoevenberg Trail to Mt. Marcy. Robert Pierce, 75, of Rochester, twisted his left ankle while hiking but was still slowly making his way down the trail. The assistant forest ranger hiked to Pierce's location, assessed and wrapped the injury. A forest ranger and an additional assistant forest ranger responded to assist. Pierce was assisted down to Marcy Dam and then provided transportation via UTV to his vehicle. He sought further medical treatment on his own.

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Town of Bolton, Lake George Wild Forest

On Saturday, Sept. 21, at approximately 7:45 p.m., DEC dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting hikers that were in need of assistance. Jeff Clark, 57, Janeellen Clark, 57 and Katherine Clark, 23, all of Ballston Spa, had hiked to the summit of Cat Mountain at 2:30 p.m. They decided to take the "Blue Trail" to the summit of Thomas Mountain based on information obtained from the internet. When they reached Thomas Mountain, it was dark and they had no headlamps or flashlights for the return trip. Two forest rangers responded, located the Clark family and assisted them back to their vehicle.

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Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness

On Saturday, Sept. 21, at approximately 8 p.m., a DEC interior caretaker was notified of an injured hiker on the Van Hoevenberg Trail. Paule Lettourneau, 45, of Laval, Quebec, was hiking down Mt. Marcy when she twisted her knee. Other members of her hiking party assisted in helping her down the trail. The caretaker and an assistant forest ranger responded to Lettourneau's location and continued to assist her down to Marcy Dam. Lettourneau was provided transportation via UTV back to her vehicle where she decided to seek further medical treatment on her own.

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Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness

On Friday, Sept. 20, at approximately 4:31 p.m., DEC dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting an injured hiker. Greg Elling, 51, of Ovid, had injured his leg and was unable to move. A forest ranger responded driving a UTV to the Marcy Dam and hiking from there. He located Elling a half mile from Marcy Dam. The forest ranger assisted Elling down the trail to the UTV. He then transported the Elling back to his vehicle who then then sought further medical attention on his own.

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Town of Keene, Hurricane Mountain Wilderness

On Monday, Sept. 16, at approximately 5:20 p.m., DEC dispatch in Ray Brook received a call transferred from Essex Co 911 reporting a lost hiker. Phillip Ratner, 70, of Oakdale, was lost off the trail between Little Crow Mountain and Big Crow Mountains. A forecast of below freezing temperatures and Ratner's pre-existing health issues provided a sense of urgency to the response. A forest ranger responded and located Ratner in good condition near the summit of Big Crow at 6:10 p.m. He was escorted back to the trailhead without any further issues.

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Town of Chazy, private land

On Monday, Sept. 16, at approximately 6:44 p.m., DEC dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from state police requesting assistance in locating an individual. Helen Scales, 85, from West Chazy, was last seen at 3:45 p.m. walking along State Route 22 toward a wooded lot. Five forest rangers and members of the Chazy and West Chazy volunteer fire departments responded and began a grid search of the area. Scales was found in good condition approximately a mile from where she was last seen. She was evacuated via UTV due to shortness of breath and hypothermia and then transported to Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh for further evaluation and treatment.

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Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness

On Thursday, Sept. 12, at approximately 10:29 a.m., DEC dispatch in Ray Brook received a report of an overdue hiker. Douglas Courtney, 57, of Somerville, Maine, left a detailed hiking itinerary with family members stating that he would be out of the woods and in Saratoga Springs on Tuesday, Sept. 10, but the family had not heard from him. Two forest rangers responded to the South Meadows parking area and located Courtney's vehicle. The forest rangers began searching the trails. At 4 p.m., Courtney contacted Ray Brook Dispatch from the Adirondak Loj and stated that he had intentionally deviated from his original hiking plan and extended his trip by two days to continue doing day hikes from Marcy Dam. At no time had Courtney been lost or injured.

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Town of St Armand, McKenzie Mountain Wilderness

On Monday, Sept. 9, at approximately 5:23 p.m., DEC dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting two hikers in need of assistance. Jay Marchetti, 56, and Susan Marchetti, 55, both of Rainbow Lake, were stranded in a swampy section of the Moose Pond area for over three hours and were unable to return without assistance. A forest ranger responded with a canoe and quickly located the Marchettis in good condition. He rescued the pair from the wetland and brought them across Moose Pond by canoe where they were returned to their vehicle.

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Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness

On Monday, Sept. 9, at approximately 4:30 p.m., DEC dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from two hikers that were lost and in need of assistance. Steven Allen, 49, of Mississauga, Ontario and Carmen Dragoste, 49, of Oakville, Ontario, had attempted to hike to Avalanche Pass from the Loj but became lost. A forest ranger responded along with the DEC Marcy Dam caretaker. Phone coordinates showed the subjects in the Pelkey Basin of Phelps Mountain. The forest ranger and Caretaker hiked in that direction while yelling for the two hikers without and response. DEC dispatch contacted Dragoste and Allen and requested they yell. The forest ranger was able to hear them yelling and used is compass to mark their location. The hikers were located near the summit of Phelps Mountain in good condition. After rehydrating, they were assisted back to Marcy Dam and then transported by UTV back to their vehicle.

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Town of Elizabethtown, Giant Mountain Wilderness

On Sunday, Sept. 8, at approximately 1:45 p.m., DEC dispatch in Ray Brook received a report of an injured hiker on Bald Peak. Morgan Raith, 19, of Middlebury, Vt., had slipped injuring her ankle and was unable to bear any weight on it. A forest ranger responded and met Raith on the trail. The forest ranger along with members of Raith's hiking group carried her out to the trailhead. Raith then returned to Vermont to seek medical attention on her own.

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Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness

On Sunday, Sept. 8, at approximately 3:42 p.m., DEC dispatch in Ray Brook received a report from the DEC John's Brook caretaker of a hiker with a broken ankle on Lower Wolf Jaw. Sarah Houde, 33, of Ballston Spa, had been hiking Benny Brook Slide with her husband when the accident occurred. He hiked to the Johns' Brook Loj to seek assistance. The DEC caretaker accompanied the husband back to Houde to assess her condition and splinted her leg. A forest ranger was dispatched to the location as well, and while a second forest ranger accompanied the state police helicopter as the hoist operator. Houde was hoisted up to the helicopter and flown to Adirondack Medical Center in Lake Placid for further evaluation and treatment.

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Town of Black Brook, Taylor Pond Wild Forest

On Friday, Sept. 6, at approximately 3:40 p.m., DEC dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a group of hikers that were lost near the DEC Taylor Pond Campground. Karen Moore, 66, Cathie Choauvin, 68, and Bonnie Myers, 64, all of Saranac, had left the campground intending to hike the 14-mile Taylor Pond Loop trail. Approximately halfway through their hike, the wet and marshy trail conditions forced the three women into the woods where they became disoriented and realized they were lost. Two forest rangers responded with a boat and after discussing plans on the phone with the women, met them at a location on the shore of the Taylor Pond and transported them back to the campground.

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Town of Keene, High Peaks Wilderness

On Sunday, Sept. 1, at approximately 6:18 p.m., DEC dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a hiker in need of assistance on Algonquin Mountain. Aleck Wu, 21, of Toronto, Ontario was descending the mountain when started having difficulty hiking due to a pre-existing knee condition. A forest ranger and an assistant forest ranger responded and found Wu to be very dehydrated but still mobile. He was provided water and then escorted back to the Adirondak Loj.

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Town of Johnsburg, Wilcox Lake Wild Forest

On Sunday, Sept. 1, at approximately 4:42 p.m., DEC dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a hiker with an ankle injury. William Keck, 55, of Wading River, was descending Crane Mountain when he slipped on the steep terrain and felt a snap in his ankle. Eight forest rangers responded. Keck's injury was assessed and splinted. He was hoisted up to a state police helicopter and flown to a nearby landing zone. There Keck was transferred to Johnsburg Rescue for transport.

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Town of Bolton, Lake George Wild Forest

On Sunday, Sept. 1, at approximately 7:15 p.m., DEC dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a lost hiker. Mary Scanlon, 49, of Cicero, was descending Cat Mountain when she became lost on the trail system and had no light or map with her. Two forest rangers responded, located Scanlon and escorted her back to her vehicle.

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Town of Schroon, Pharaoh Lake Wilderness

On Friday, Aug. 30, at approximately 3:57 p.m., DEC dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Warren County 911 reporting a hiker with a broken leg at a lean-to on Pharaoh Lake. Donna Ryan, 53, of Clifton Park, was walking down the trail when she slipped on a wet surface and rolled her leg, resulting in a severe unstable lower leg injury. Two forest rangers responded and splinted Ryan's leg. A state police helicopter responded with three additional forest rangers. Two of the forest rangers were hoisted down to the site by the forest ranger operating the hoist mechanisms. The forest rangers placed Ryan in a harness and hoisted up to the helicopter. She was flow to a nearby landing zone in Chester managed by the Chester Volunteer Fire Department. Ms. Ryan was transferred to a North Warren EMS ambulance at 7:39 p.m. and transported to Glen Falls Hospital for further evaluation and treatment.

 
 

 

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