By KIM SMITH DEDAM
---- — LAKE PLACID — A team of more than seven forest rangers saved the lives of two lost winter hikers earlier this week.
Working in a coordinated pattern, they searched from both sides of the Northville-Placid trail overnight to successfully locate Kyle Austin, 26, of Long Lake and Stephen Hine, 22, of Philadelphia and bring them out.
LOST ALONG TRAIL
“The two hikers left Long Lake at 1 a.m. on Sunday and went to hike the Northville-Placid trail. They were trying to do it in one day,” Department of Environmental Conservation spokeswoman Leissa King said.
The trail is 38 miles long. Air temperatures in Long Lake on Sunday morning hovered near 10 degrees.
The DEC dispatch center in Ray Brook was notified Sunday at 10:20 p.m. by Austin’s wife, Jessica, that the two men had not come out of the woods.
Rangers were dispatched to various sections of the trail between Long Lake and Lake Placid in an all-out search.
Pairs of rangers went in late Sunday.
FOUND OFF TRAIL
The two men were found at 12:35 p.m. Monday between Moose Pond and the Noah Rondeau Hermitage, King said.
They had strayed one mile off the trail.
“When they were found, they had no food or water. They were evacuated via snowmobile and taken by Tupper Lake Rescue Squad to Adirondack Medical Center, where they were treated and released,” King said.
Forest Rangers Tom Gliddi, Jim Waters, Scott Van Laer and Rob Praczkajlo were among teams that helped find Austin and Hine.
Austin has hiked in Nepal, according to Climbing for Christ, a Rochester-based Christian mountaineering mission that he has worked with.
Email Kim Smith: firstname.lastname@example.org