Regardless of what you think the weather is, it pays to be extra careful hiking at this time of the year.

Forest Rangers were recently called to two separate rescues in the Town of Keene, though they were handled as one incident under Forest Ranger Praczkajlo. The first call came in at 2:45pm, for a 61-year-old from Pittsford who suffered a lower leg injury on Saddleback Mountain.

The second came in at 4:10pm, regarding a 38-year-old from Maryland who was injured on Basin Mountain. He also injured his leg on the icy trail. Both incidents happened on extremely icy trails, around nine miles from the trailhead.

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NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

On-Foot Rescue

A helicopter rescue would have made each trip easier, but the weather conditions had other plans. Due to the rain/snow mix, Rangers were forced to head out on foot.

It took 6 hours to reach the first hiker on Saddleback Mountain, and 4 for the other on Basin Mountain. Rangers were able to splint both hikers' legs, before using different techniques to get them down the mountain.

On Saddleback, Rangers set up a high-angle rope system to get the hiker to the summit from the westside trail. A carry team then moved the hiker by sled, until they reached their ATV transport to Smiths Road.

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NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

As for Basin, they wrapped the hiker in hypo-wrap, to keep him warm during the carry out. Rangers then used a sled, before switching to a four-person backpack system.

In total, 30 Rangers were assigned for the rescues. All were eventually cleared by 12:30pm.

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