Adirondacks Search and Rescue Incidents Triple
The Adirondacks offer some of the most spectacular views in the world. But those same vistas turn dangerous when you're in the wrong place at the wrong time. And the Department of Environmental Conservation is seeing a huge uptick in the number of "wrong place wrong time" people needing rescue recently.
DEC Search and Rescue efforts have increased more than 30 percent over the past 4 years, especially in the High Peaks Wilderness. Many of the incidents involve people who are ill-prepared for a treck into a true wilderness. It's easy to become disoriented and if you're hiking in the afternoon without a flashlight and proper clothing, it's surprising how fast it can become dark and cold. And if you don't know where you're at, how long will it take search and rescue personnel to find your location?
Beginning this weekend (2/16), you'll find more Forest Rangers and volunteers from the Adirondack Mountain Club and the Adirondack 46ers' at trailheads, information centers, and on the trails. They hope to implement the Preventative Search and Rescue program developed by the National Park Service for the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite Parks. The goal is to interact with hikers and park visitors to see if they're properly dressed, equipped, and prepared for the trail conditions of the day.
This time of the year is especially dangerous with plummeting temperatures at night and weather conditions changing quickly. The DEC suggest always hike with a compass and a map of the area and check weather conditions (even in the summer) before you start your hike. The DEC website has more tips on safe hiking and information on traversing the Adirondack backcountry.