New York Hiker Airlifted to Safety After 50-Foot Fall Into Crevasse

by Taylor Cunningham
No release required

A New York City hiker had to be airlifted to safety after they fell 50 feet into a crevice near Gertrude’s Nose at Minnewaska State Park.

The incident took place on Saturday, Oct. 22, around 2:20 pm, according to environmental conservation police. When the report came in, state police officers asked forest rangers to help them airlift the unidentified 54-year-old man to a local hospital.

While waiting for rangers to arrive, staff from the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation helped first responders complete a high-angle rope rescue to pull the hiker out of the crevice. Once he was on safe ground, rescuers proceeded to carry him a half-mile to Gertrude’s Nose.

Around 4 pm, they were met by rangers, who loaded the hiker into an aviation litter. State police pilots then pulled the man into a Life Net helicopter. Police say the entire rescue was complete by 6 pm.

The hiker suffered a significant head injury during the fall. And he was in and out of consciousness as police, staff, and rangers worked to save him. There have been no reports on his current condition.

Injured Hiker Airlifted From Hawaii’s Stairway to Heaven

Earlier this month Hawaii, the Honolulu Fire Department pulled off an even more challenging rescue after a hiker was injured while climbing down the infamous Stairway to Heaven. In all, it took five units with a total of 80 firefighters to bring them to safety.

The female hiker, who was in her 20s, reportedly couldn’t decent the 3,900 steps that lead to the top of the Ko’olau mountain range, even with the help of a friend.

The first of the crews climbed the trail to meet the injured hiker. And rescuers determined that her injuries were serious enough to warrant an airlift. Upon their request, a helicopter met them at Kaneohe District Park. The woman went to a local hospital for emergency medical attention. And firefighters escorted her companion down the mountain.

The military built the Stairway to Heaven during World War II to give the Navy access to a secret radio tower. Over the years, it has become too dangerous to climb. So the state fenced it off and denied access.

Climbing the main trail is illegal, and if people are caught doing so, they can face a $1,000 fine. However, there is a legal back path that takes people to parts of the stairs through a four-hour hike.

Because people continue to take the illegal route, and often get hurt, the state is considering removing the entire staircase. The case is currently under review.