Rescued Niskayuna high peaks hikers visit angels

From left: DEC forest ranger Ian Kerr; Tech. Lt. Peter Mclain; Blake Alois; Madison Popolizio; and Tech. Sgt. Brian Rumrill. Courtesy of New York State Police.From left: DEC forest ranger Ian Kerr; Tech. Lt. Peter Mclain; Blake Alois; Madison Popolizio; and Tech. Sgt. Brian Rumrill. Courtesy of New York State Police.

ZACHARY MATSON
Gazette reporter

The New York State Police Huey 2 helicopter that helped lift a pair of stranded hikers off the state’s second-highest mountain in December has a new name: Algonquin Angel.

The Niskayuna hikers — Madison Popolizio and Blake Alois — were rescued after two nights stranded atop Algonquin Peak. On Wednesday, they met with the state police pilots and Department of Environmental Conservation officials who rescued them. They also peeked inside the chopper that airlifted them out of the High Peaks Wilderness.

State police pilots Tech. Lt. Peter Mclain and Tech. Sgt. Brian Rumrill navigated the tricky rescue on Dec. 13, hovering close to the mountain long enough for forest rangers on the ground to strap Popolizio and Alois into the chopper. The rangers only found the couple after they called out to the nearby aircraft.

“It was a roller-coaster ride from beginning to end,” Mclain told the Adirondack Daily Enterprise in December.

On Wednesday, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos presented the pilots with Meritorious Service Awards and posed for pictures with the pilots and Alois and Popolizio — who both appeared healthy and happy — in front of several state police aircraft.

About the Author

Erin K. O'Neill
Erin K. O'Neill is the Web Editor at The Daily Gazette of Schenectady, NY.