Guilderland hiker airlifted from High Peaks

— A hiker hailing from Guilderland had to be airlifted from the Adirondack High Peaks after suffering a leg injury on the side of Algonquin Mountain this past weekend.

Forest rangers at about 3:15 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 11, received a call from a member of a hiking party including Andrea Bakic, 23, who had sustained an injury to her lower leg. She was just above the junction with the trail heading to Wright Peak, about four miles from the trailhead, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation.

A nearby forest ranger on patrol and the Algonquin summit steward met the party, splinted Bakic's leg and began assisting her down towards the Adirondack Loj, while a team of eight forest rangers set out from below to meet the party and assist with the carry out.

During this time, a State Police helicopter became available and at about 7:50 p.m. was able to airlift Bakic to Lake Placid and the Adirondack Medical Center. She had traveled just a quarter mile from the site of the injury, according to the DEC.

The DEC's David Winchell said this was only the second helicopter rescue of the summer for the High Peaks region. Four other injured hikers were carried out by forest rangers and half-a-dozen others self rescued, generally suffering from dehydration and not bodily injury.

Rangers may conduct more than a dozen rescues, with half-a-dozen requiring a helicopter airlift.

Though the DEC receives many cell phone calls for assistance in times of emergency, hikers are advised that reception is sporadic, especially in the mountains, and anyone venturing into the wilderness should carry emergency gear and be prepared to stay the night if necessary.

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