If an emergency arises, a self-rescue may be the quickest way for you or your partner to get help. Some of the locations can take hours to days for rescue crews to reach, not to mention that they will be risking their own safety as well. In addition to always carrying food and water, a warm belay jacket, a headlamp, a map and compass, a watch, and a first-aid kit in your pack, you and your partner should have some type of training in first aid, preferably wilderness first aid. Always be sure to tell someone at home your plans: where you are going, and when you expect to be back.
If you are climbing one of the ravine climbs in Kaaterskill Clove or Kaaterskill Falls and need help, the best way for the rescue team to get you out may be from above. Previous parties who have had accidents have sent for help and then worked their way downstream, actually delaying the extri- cation. If you are near the top of the climbs, the quickest way for the rescue team to get in or out is from the top with snowmobiles. So when request- ing outside help, always consider if it may be better to stay where you are instead of moving.
If an accident occurs and you need additional assistance, contact:
Greene & Ulster County Dispatch 911
24-Hour DEC Forest Ranger Dispatch, 877-457-5680 or 518-408-5850
Please remember that if you use a cell phone to call for help, you may get picked up by another county that might not be familiar with your loca- tion or have the appropriate numbers. When you speak to an operator, please remind him/her to contact the NYS DEC Forest Rangers.
You can also call directly:
Christine Nelson, NYS DEC Forest Ranger, 518-653-8203
Jeff Breigle NYS, DEC Forest Ranger, 518-653-8066