Mountain scenery

Tragedy Nearly Strikes on Hook Mountain

If “Hook Mountain” doesn’t sound perilous enough, then maybe it’s best to call it by its ancient Dutch name, Verdrietige Hook, which means “Tedious Point.” Both of these sobriquets allude, in a way, to the inherent danger of the peak.

Located in Rockland County’s Hook Mountain State Park, this 689-foot-tall mountain overlooks both Rockland Lake and the Hudson River. Last week, however, things weren’t quite so picturesque. A hiker, in a scene cribbed straight from an action movie, tumbled down the sheer face of Hook Mountain, scrambling desperately for purchase, which came in the form of a tree, the last graspable object on the slippery rock outcropping. For hours, the man clung desperately to this lifeline, 140 feet above the Hudson River. In this precarious position, the 35-year-old man was able to reach into the pocket of his pants and retrieve his cell phone, which he used to call for help. When emergency workers arrived on the scene, they found him still clinging to the tree, tired and injured from the fall, though alive. Nyack firefighters and police were able to locate and rescue him using GPS coordinates and advanced emergency equipment. Traversing the scree and shrub-obscured incline was no easy feat, and the rescue itself took approximately three hours.

The man is expected to make a full recovery.

Safe Hiking Tips

How do accidents like these happen? Well, the man from the story above made a classic mistake: he left the trail. It’s of paramount importance, for all hikers, to stringently heed all signage posted across parks and other public places. These warning signs are devised with your safety in mind, and should never be ignored. Keeping that in mind, let’s take a look at some other tips and tricks you can use to stay safe while you hike.

  • Knowledge is Power: While hiking generally involves a literal trip into woods, you never want to be figuratively “lost in the woods.” Stack up on information! Bring all pertinent maps and trail guides. Before heading out, try and commit the terrain to memory, so that you’ve got an idea of where you’re going.
  • Get the Right Gear: The best hikers are the most well-prepared. Bring plenty of food and water, and extra layers of clothes in case it gets cold. A compass is an absolute necessity, and a flashlight always comes in handy. Wear proper footwear, and heavy-duty gloves if your particular trail calls for them. Other items you and your group will want to bring along include: cans of insect repellant, watches, tarps, plastic bags in which to store valuables, extra batteries, knives, ropes, and whistles. For a more comprehensive list, consult trail keepers or more experienced hikers!
  • Stay Together: Never break off from your group. Always stay together!
  • Rest Often: Heat stroke and exhaustion can be life threatening. When exerting yourself, especially on summer days, it’s important to find shade and rest often, while drinking plenty of water.
  • Move at Your Own Pace: Slips and falls can occur as you ascend, but more often they happen as you move down a slope, and your momentum carries you dangerously forward. If someone in your party sustains an injury, you must contact emergency medical workers
  • Keep Others Informed Too: If you’re planning on hiking alone, let someone know your plans, including the trail you plan to navigate, where you’ll begin, and where you’re planning on ending. Inform someone as to when you plan to complete your hike. This way, someone will know if something’s happened, and you’ve sustained an injury that’s preventing you from contacting emergency services yourself. If you have been injured, try and stay warm and hydrated as you await help.

Kaplan Lawyers PC

At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we hope that every time you hit the trails, you do so in a safe and well thought-out manner. However, if you have been injured, it is possible that a government agency was at fault. The government is obligated to keep public spaces as safe and well-maintained as their private counterparts. Which means, if you encountered a dangerous situation that was known about and negligently disregarded, it may be within your rights to sue. If you’ve been injured, you know how expensive medical bills can be, and missing time from work only exacerbates the difficulty of paying them off. The compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys at Kaplan Lawyers PC will maximize the compensation you receive, which will help defray the costs of medical bills and ease your mind as you focus on recovery. If you’ve been hurt, and are unsure where to turn, contact Kaplan Lawyers today. Our consultations are a free and easy way to get started.