Daring Rescue Takes Forest Rangers 15 Hours to Save Woman on Mt Marcy
We have often shared stories of amazing rescues performed by New York's Forest Rangers and First Responders. This one deserves a made for TV movie treatment as it takes 15 hours to rescue a woman on Mt. Marcy in the Adirondacks.
Often people underestimate just how challenging hiking and climbing can be in the Adirondacks, especially when taking on Mt. Marcy the tallest peak at over five thousand feet. And in early spring, mother nature can throw a wide assortment of weather and trail conditions into the mix too. It all combined to make for one daring rescue.
The incident began at about 11 in the morning on Saturday, May 8. Franklin County 911 received a report of an injured hiker on the summit of Mt Marcy. A 52 year old Bailey, Colorado woman had slipped on the icy conditions and injured her hip. The report gets forwarded to the DEC's Ray Brook Dispatch center and nine Forest Rangers and two volunteers from the Search and Rescue of the Northern Adirondacks (SARNAK) are about to start a very long trying day.
Things don't even begin well when a request for the New York State Police Aviation unit is thwarted by the poor weather conditions. Forest Rangers Mecus and LaPierre begin the trek to reach the injured hiked arriving at the scene a little after 4:30. Determining the woman will have to be carried off the peak, the Rangers stabilize the injury and build a small shelter to protect her from the cold temps and strong winds while awaiting additional help.
A Lake Placid EMS Paramedic responds to the scene as do more Rangers. The injured hiker is packaged in a litter just before 7 pm to begin the long descent through two to three feet of snow and ice. The poor trail conditions makes the trip down very difficult and requires additional Forest Rangers to relieve the exhausted first team of rescuers. New York State Police provide additional personnel at the Marcy Dam Outpost to keep fresh rescuers available. As the rescue seems to be nearing the end, there's one more twist to add to the drama.
Because of the exhausting conditions and bitter cold temperatures, one of the rescuers started to show possible cardiac symptoms. Fortunately with an EMS Paramedic on scene, they were able to quickly evaluate and monitor the person while the remaining rescuers continued carrying out the injured hiker. The long rescue finally came to an end at 3 a m when the injured hikers and ill rescuer were placed in ambulances and taken to a hospital.
Kudos to the men and women who brave horrible trail and weather conditions to save others.