NY forest rangers rescue 3 men from High Peaks
LAKE PLACID, N.Y.—New York forest rangers rescued three people from the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks over the weekend, less than a week after another man survived a night in a snow cave on the state's highest mountain.
The Department of Environmental Conservation says Mike Jones of Andover, Conn.; Matthew Bradley of Lee, Mass., and Brian Sullivan of Brooklyn were hiking or skiing separately when they had to be rescued during three searches between Saturday evening and Sunday morning.
The first rescue occurred Saturday evening when DEC rangers plucked Jones, 42, off Algonquin Peak. He had tried climbing the mountain Friday but got pushed off course by a snowstorm. He bushwhacked down and rode out the single-digit night in a snow cave.
On Saturday, he continued downhill but, unable to find a trail out, called 911 at about 5 p.m. A dispatcher pinpointed the location and rangers on snowmobiles and skis reached him at about 6:45 p.m. Jones, who was suffering from hypothermia, was taken to a hospital where he was still being treated Monday.
Bradley, 36, was found Sunday morning off the trails a mile downhill from the summit of Mount Marcy, the state's highest peak at 5,344 feet. He had planned to snowshoe to the peak but got lost. His girlfriend called rangers at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday, about the same time Bradley was trying to call, but he was unable to tell rangers where he was because his GPS had temporarily stopped working.
At about 5 a.m., after hunkering down in a snow cave, Bradley was able to call and, with his GPS working again, give rescuers better coordinates. They located him at about 9:30 a.m. He was treated at a hospital and released Sunday.
Sullivan, 62, was cross-country skiing nearing the region's Olympic facilities and was reported overdue by his wife at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Rangers started from each end of his route and worked toward the middle. He was found at about 9 p.m. after a ranger heard him shouting.
The rescues come less than a week after a Saratoga Springs snowshoer, Steve Mastaitis, spent a night in a snow cave he dug near the Marcy summit. Forest rangers rescued Mastaitis on Tuesday morning.
"Any one of these incidents could have ended in tragedy, fortunately they didn't," said DEC Forest Ranger Captain John Streiff.
The rescues follow two storms that dumped more than a foot of snow on parts of the Adirondacks, one of the biggest snowfalls in an unusually warm winter. The region received up to 6 inches of snow on Wednesday evening, followed by 10 to 12 inches Friday night into Saturday morning, according to Dave Winchell of the DEC.
"With these recent snows, we're seeing more people realizing we've got snow up there and they're heading back in to enjoy it," he said.