Memorial Day Weekend is here and many will be getting outside and hitting the hiking trails. Whether you are a beginner of a professional outdoorsman, let this be a warning to you, be prepared! New York State has thousands of trails from easy to expert and injury could occur at any level.

About one week ago it took 21 Forest Rangers, 22 hours and a helicopter to rescue an injured hiker.

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According to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, it was all hands on deck to rescue a Saratoga Springs man that had been injured while climbing Gothics Mountain in the town of Essex. This is near the Lake Placid region of the Adirondacks.

9:30pm - Saturday May 21, 2022 - Forest Rangers received a report of a hiker who hadn't returned from their outing and friends and family grew concerned. Ranger Praczkajlo set out to investigate.


11:43pm - Ranger Praczkajlo located the individuals vehicle in the Roaring Brook parking lot. At that point Ranger Mecus joined the search and rescue mission. Where could this hiker be? There are 2 trails to the summit of Gothics Mountain but the summit has an elevation over 4,500 feet.

Rangers Praczkajlo and Mecus were joined by twelve additional rangers and volunteers from the Adirondacks Climbers Coalition as they searched the Roaring Brook Valley. The mission went through the night with no results.

10:10am -  Hiker is finally located! The 53-year-old man from Saratoga Springs was about 2 miles from the Roaring Brook trailhead and had suffered 2 leg injuries making him unable to hike out on his own power.

The carry out mission was attempted with the help of 21 Rangers. Even with all of that help New York State Police Aviation was called to hoist the injured man out of the woods. The helicopter landed in Ray Brook and the individual was taken to the hospital.

7:30pm - 22 hours, 21 rangers and 1 helicopter later and this case was closed.

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