New York state forest rangers rescued three Clifton Park residents from Giant Mountain after they lost track of the trail while hiking last week.
According to a ranger highlights release issued Tuesday morning by the New York state Department of Environment Conservation, its Ray Brook Dispatch received a transferred call from Essex County on Saturday, March 16, around 3:25 p.m., reporting that three hikers from the Clifton Park area were lost on Giant Mountain.
While the release stated that the hikers, ages 21, 21, and 19, required assistance to relocate the trail, it did not specify which trail the hikers were on.
Rangers Robert Praczkajlo and Kevin Burns were dispatched to the mountain to search for the hikers. At 5:10 p.m., they established voice contact with the hikers.
The release indicated that by 5:52 p.m., the rangers located the three hikers in good, but tired condition. The hikers then slowly made their way back to the trailhead and the incident concluded at 6:15 p.m.
According to the release, the hikers were wearing sneakers, and were unprepared for the tough trek.
DEC's winter hiking guidelines urge hikers to familiarize themselves with their area of their intended hike before their trip.
The agency recommends at least packing, if not wearing, thick socks and waterproof boots. When eight inches of snow or more are on the ground, snowshoes or skis are also suggested. Flashlights, water, maps and trekking poles are all also recommended.
Authorities in the Adirondacks have had to contend with a steady increase in search and rescue missions in the High Peaks in recent years, as the number of hikers has soared. Earlier this winter, forest rangers and outdoor educators were stationed at some popular High Peaks trailheads as part of an education initiative.
Forest rangers, Adirondack Mountain Club stewards and educators, and volunteer trailhead stewards from the Adirondack 46ers hiking group were all on hand to promote winter planning and preparation.
These individuals stopped hikers for conversations about the best ways to be prepared to enter the woods, including proper dress and equipment.