On August 9th at about 12:40 pm, Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance for a hiker who fell approximately 40 feet off the highest waterfall in the Trap Dike on Mount Colden in the town of Keene, Essex County, part of the Adirondack High Peaks.
Eleven Rangers responded with the help of New York State Police (NYSP) Aviation, who made multiple flights to deliver Rangers to the base of the Trap Dike.
Rangers set up a multi-pitch, steep-angle rope rescue. After safely packaging the subject into a litter, Rangers and other rescuers successfully lowered the patient down to the base of the Trap Dike and carried him to the NYSP helicopter on the edge of Avalanche Lake. The patient was flown to the hospital at about 5:45 pm.
Ranger Charlie Foutch described the rescue in a video available on DEC’s YouTube page. “This is definitely the most complicated rescue I’ve been on,” he said. “The waterfall that you typically climb around is about 40 feet. He fell once I believe about 25 feet, and then there’s kind of a little ledge and then fell another 15 feet.”
The Trap Dike is a Class Four climb and should only be attempted by those with the proper experience and equipment. It is frequently the scene of similar accidents.
Read past Forest Ranger search and rescue reports here.
Photos of Trap Dike rescue provided by DEC.