Ulster County hiker spent night in the woods before rescue

Ulster County
sunset silhouette forest ranger

A forest ranger silhouetted against the sunset. (Brian Mann / Unsplash)

SHANDAKEN, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A 47-year-old Chichester man was forced to spend the night in below freezing temperatures after searches failed to locate him before nightfall.

Shandaken Police say the hiker entered the woods on Saturday, November 14 for a day hike at Slide Mountain Wilderness Area. He arrived late to the trailhead and missed his hiking group, which was traversing Moon Haw to Woodland Valley. He attempted to bushwhack up to the Wittenberg/Cornell/Slide trail, but his shortcut took him into the cliffs of Cornell, instead.

As light faded, the man realized that the batteries in his headlamp were corroded, and that he’d lost his GPS while hiking. He was able to send out coordinates before spending the night in a space blanket beneath a rock ledge as temperatures dipped below 32 degrees.

At 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, November 15, Shandaken Police flagged down a forest ranger to report the search. At noon, the ranger parked at the Slide Mountain Wilderness Area entrance, where the hiker’s vehicle was located. At 12:10 p.m., the missing hiker sent another set of coordinates, placing him within a quarter-mile of the previous night’s coordinates.

Rangers entered the woods at 12:15 p.m. They found the hiker at 1:50 p.m. at 2,200 feet elevation on the eastern shoulder of Cornell Mountain. By 2 p.m., the hiker said he felt warm enough to move, and everyone was out of the woods by 3:20 p.m.

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