Lost Hiker Spends Cold Night in the Woods in Ulster County
A hiker who became separated from his group was forced to spend the night in the woods with below-freezing temperatures.
On November 15, at approximately 11:30 a.m. a Forest Ranger was flagged down by a member of the Shandaken Police Department reporting a search for a hiker who shouldn't have reported back already.
The ranger arrived at the parking lot used to enter the Slide Mountain Wilderness Area, where the missing hiker's vehicle was located. It was reported that the missing hiker, identified as a 47-year-old from Chichester, entered the woods the day before on November 14. The man was out for a day hike but notified his landlord that he would be forced to stay the night in the woods.
The next day, at approximately 12:10 p.m. the missing hiker, sent another set of coordinates to his landlord, which put him roughly a quarter-mile from the original coordinates sent the day before.
Forest Rangers entered the woods on November 15 at approximately 12:15 p.m. and we able to locate the missing hiker by 1:50 p.m. The hiker stated that he attempted to bushwack up to the Wittenberg/Cornell/Slide trail after arriving at the trailhead late, which resulting in him failing to meet with his hiking group which was traveling Moon Haw to Woodland Valley.
By bushwhacking his way through, the hiker went into the cliffs of Cornell, which prevented him from reaching his original designated trail. With darkness approaching, the hiker realized his headlamp batteries were corroded and he had lost his GPS while hiking. Luckily, the hiker had a space blanket, which he used to spend the night in the woods under a rock ledge in below-freezing temperatures.
The hiker was warm enough to continue hiking by 2:00 p.m. and all units were out of the woods by 3:20 p.m.