Schenectady teen’s Adirondack hike turns into scary rescue
A scary evening for one Schenectady teen turned into a harrowing rescue in the Adirondacks.
Joe “Dmytri” Gutch planned to summit three peaks in one day.
“We started our hike. I started in a T-shirt. It was pretty fair weather,” said Gutch. “Then we summited the first peak, and that’s when the winds really started picking up.”
As Gutch headed up Algonquin in November, his friend gave up and headed back.
When Gutch reached the summit, he texted his friend, realized he was on his own, and the weather was getting worse.
“I’ve got to say, that was probably the scariest moment. Because that was the time of most uncertainty. I didn’t have a game plan. I didn’t know where I was going next. I didn’t know how I was getting home,” he explained.
The spikes on his boots broke. So he couldn’t walk on the ice.
“I called my father and the first words I said was, like, ‘Don’t freak out, but I’m in a little situation right now,'” said Gutch.
His father called 911 and dispatchers got in touch with the rangers.
Rangers called Gutch and had him call 911, so they could get a better location for him.
At this point, Gutch was waist deep in snow.
“I was in that stage of hypothermia where I was, several times, almost 20, maybe, times where I was in and out of consciousness,” said Gutch.
Rangers took turns calling him, yelling at him to stay awake, and trying to guide him back to the trail.
“That’s an intense moment when you’re told that you have to get to a certain point, a certain coordinate or a certain check point, or else you die,” said Gutch.
Three rangers found him around 4:30 a.m.
“Unbelievable amount of relief and on top of that relief, it’s not that just you now can breathe, it’s now you can smile. You can now think of what will be, not of what could be. That’s a really powerful moment,” said Gutch.
MORE: Winter Hiking Safety