HomeOutdoorsNewsLost Hiker Spends Night in Waist-Deep Snow on New York Mountain

Lost Hiker Spends Night in Waist-Deep Snow on New York Mountain

by Amy Myers
Photo by: Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Late last month, a 19-year-old hiker decided to explore the High Peaks Wilderness Area with a buddy, but when the pair became separated, the leisure adventure turned into a life-threatening situation.

Initially, the pair became separated early in the evening on November 27. They last had contact with each other at about 5 p.m., according to New York Upstate. It wasn’t until 1 a.m., though, that the teen first contacted his dad and then called 911 for help. Meanwhile, at some point in the night, the hiking buddy waited at the Adirondak Loj trailhead and made his own call to report the situation.

Thanks to the calls, emergency personnel were able to track the lost hiker’s location. At the time, the 19-year-old was nearing the summit of Algonquin Peak, the second-tallest mountain in New York, standing at 5,114 feet tall. He was facing waist-deep snow and freezing conditions, prompting the risk of hypothermia.

Teen Was Hypothermic by the Time Rangers Arrived at Location

By the time he called authorities, the teen was already feeling lethargic and was having a hard time staying awake. When facing exposure, it is incredibly important to stay awake, alert and mobile to help maintain blood flow and body temperature as much as possible. Thankfully, a DEC ranger that was on the phone with him helped him stay conscious until help could arrive.

Nearly three and a half hours after the hiker’s first call, rescue teams reached him and were able to facilitate an assessment. They concluded that the teen was, in fact, hypothermic, as he had lost feeling in his lower legs and feet. They did not specify whether he was in a mild or severe state.

Immediately, the rangers warmed the hiker and provided him with food and water before assisting him back down the mountain to the trailhead. By 6:35 a.m., they reached the trailhead where an air ambulance transported the teen to Adirondack Medical Center.

His current condition is unknown.

Fellow Algonquin Peak Hiker Rescued Following Severe Leg Injury

Just one month before the latest rescue, another hiker needed assistance after taking a significant fall on one of Algonquin Peak’s trails. The 63-year-old West Falls resident was a seasoned hiker. However, this time, he was traveling along a particularly strenuous trail with tough terrain, and he didn’t have any traction devices for his boots.

Because of this, the man slipped on the icy trail and ended up falling roughly 15 feet, severely injuring his leg before coming to a stop. A passing hiker happened to see the fall and immediately contacted the ranger station to report the accident.

Soon after, New York State Forest Ranger Evans arrived at the man’s location, provided first aid and helped him back to the man’s campsite. It is likely that the ranger provided a more thorough assessment of the hiker’s injuries there or called for back up to transport the man out of the area.