While most of us were grilling and chilling on the Fourth of July, New York Forest Rangers, assistants, climbers and a helicopter were needed to rescue an injured hiker near Lake Placid.

Wilderness rescues aren't uncommon in the world of New York Forest Rangers. A typical week will see them finding a lost, injured or disoriented hiker about once a day between the trails of the Adirondacks and Catskills. But a few times each year, comes a rescue requiring advanced planning and team work. This is one of those rescues.

The call came into the DEC's Ray Brook Dispatch July 4 at about 1:30 in the afternoon. Three climbers reported a fourth member of their group had suffered a leg injury after falling. The group had been scaling the Trap Dike on Mount Colden, an area only recommended for experienced hikers and climbers. Getting rescuers to the injured person would be no easy task, let alone getting them out to receive medical attention.

Five Forest Rangers, four Assistant Forest Rangers, and two volunteer climbers assisted in the rescue. Using a New York State helicopter, two Rangers and two volunteers were inserted at the base of the Mount Colden Trap Dike.  The remaining rescue personnel took technical rescue equipment to the scene using Avalanche Pass with technical rescue equipment.

At the scene rescuers found a 59-year-old woman from Greenwich, Connecticut with a lower leg injury. They stabilized the injury and developed an evacuation plan requiring some shrew planning. To find the best location for a hoist extraction, responders used a steep-angle belay system, lowering the woman another 100 yards down the slope. Once the helicopter removed the woman from the Trap Dike she was transported to a local hospital for further medical treatment.

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