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Rangers rescue lost hiker in western High Peaks

A man from the Syracuse area was rescued by forest rangers after getting lost during a hike up a trail-less peak Monday in the western High Peaks Wilderness.

Officials with the state Department of Environmental Conservation say 45-year-old Mike Sorelli of Clay became lost while climbing down Mount Emmons, a peak in the Seward Range in the Franklin County town of Harrietstown.

Dave Winchell is spokesman for DEC Region 5, headquartered in Ray Brook. He says Sorelli became lost while navigating around a large number of blowdowns in the area.

Winchell emphasized that it's important for hikers to do their research before entering an area.

"One of the things was clearly to know the conditions you're going into and the conditions there," Winchell said. "Even though we have information posted on our website on the blowdowns in that area it appears that Mr. Sorelli was unprepared for that."

Sorelli called 911 from his cell phone at 6:10 a.m. Monday and eight DEC forest rangers and a helicopter from the New York State Police Aviation Unit were dispatched to the area of the call.

Sorelli was spotted from the air at 2 p.m. on the side of Mount Emmons.

A forest ranger was lowered from the police helicopter at 4:30 p.m. and Sorelli was transported back to the Lake Clear Airport at 4:50 p.m.

A forest ranger transported Sorelli to his vehicle on Corey's Road where he was dropped off at 5:10 p.m.

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