For the past few years, the NY Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has been publishing regular reports of ranger rescues and evacuations in the Adirondacks. As one would expect, the bulk of these are, as in most wilderness areas, consequent to minor lower extremity problems. Lately, however, there have been a few “medical” deaths each year; these have exceeded the numbers of deaths from injuries, which are rare.
The cause of these, unfortunately, are typically not clear. Once it is determined that there is no “foul play,” there is usually little more in the way of investigation. Reading between the lines of some of these reports, it would appear that many represent sudden cardiac death, an event which is generally not preventable.