Just when you’ve thought you heard it all: five hikers from Florida who got lost in the High Peaks reportedly urinated on each other to keep warm.
The Albany Times Union first reported this tidbit earlier this week, and the state Department of Environmental Conservation confirms that this is what the hikers told forest rangers.
DEC spokesman David Winchell advises against this practice. “No matter what, getting wet in cool or cold weather hastens the loss of body heat,” he said.
Winchell said the hikers were woefully unprepared. They didn’t bring a map, compass, or other essential gear and seemed not to understand the difficulty of their expedition.
The five left Rocky Acres Inn in Schroon Lake about 10 a.m. last Thursday and drove to the Upper Works trailhead. They planned to hike to the Adirondack Mountain Reserve and around the Ausable Lakes and back.
That’s a crazy idea. There are no trails around the lakes. It’s about 12 miles to Lower Ausable Lake, passing by Panther Gorge. Once there you could sort of loop around Upper Ausable by climbing to the Colvin Range ridge, hiking over Blake Peak and Pinnacle, descending to Marcy Swamp, and following the trail back to Panther Gorge. The round-trip would be more than thirty miles, with strenuous climbing.
The inn called 911 when the five failed to return by 11 p.m. A state trooper located their car at Upper Works, and two forest rangers searched throughout the rainy night without success.
“The next morning six additional forest rangers joined the search, with two entering the High Peaks Wilderness from the north. At 10:05 am the group was located in the Calamity Brook area. They were wet and cold but otherwise healthy. After rehydrating and warming them up, Forest Rangers escorted them back to their vehicle,” DEC said in a news release.
Click here to read Brian Nearing’s report in the Times Union.