After two Quebec hikers got lost on Mount Marcy last month and were eventually rescued by forest rangers, they endured a significant amount of public backlash by people calling them unprepared and irresponsible. But now those hikers are defending their experience.
In an article on LakePlacidNews.com, one of the hikers, Miguel Martin, says he and his partner had done a lot of winter hiking prior to their winter summit attempt on Marcy, including having climbed Algonquin – only 200 feet shorter than Marcy – just a few days earlier.
He says previous success may have lulled him into a false sense of security. And, he admits, not having a map, compass, GPS device or snowshoes was a mistake – one, he says, he’ll learn from. But, he says, the main cause of the incident was the sudden, unexpected storm that significantly reduced visibility.
One of the forest rangers who helped rescue Martin agrees with him. Chris Kostoss, a forest ranger with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, said other than not having that equipment, the pair seemed otherwise prepared for the hike. And, he says, even with equipment such as a map and compass, people often get disoriented and lost in snowstorms in the High Peaks.
“Unfortunately, these people got all of the negative press of it,” Kostoss says in the article, “but it certainly could happen to anybody who is hiking in the wintertime.”