A hiker who slipped off New York’s South Dix Mountain not only has forest rangers to thank for her rescue, but also a well-placed small tree that likely saved her life.

The hiker, a 46-year-old woman from South Glens Falls, New York, reportedly slipped off the mountain’s summit on December 26 at around 5:30 p.m.

According to New York Department of Environmental Conservation officials, the woman fell several hundred feet down steep snow and a rockslide before grabbing a small spruce tree, which prevented her from going over a vertical cliff face. 

She contacted Ray Brook Dispatch, but was asked to call 911 so rescuers could get her coordinates.

Conditions were treacherous with pouring rain, soaking wet spruce tree cover, deep snow, and slippery ice. 

Rangers reached the hiker at 1:30 a.m., provided warm liquids, food, and dry clothing, and guided her out of the vegetation and back to the trail. The rangers reached her vehicle at 6:30 a.m.