LAKE PLACID - A hiker collapsed and died of a heart attack on top of the state's second highest mountain Friday, the second such fatality in the Adirondack High Peaks in less than a week.
Alexander Kazimirov, 59, lived in Dryden and was a staff scientist at Cornell University. He collapsed near the summit of 5,114-foot Algonquin Peak around 2:45 p.m. Friday. The state Department of Environmental Conservation got word of the incident from the Algonquin Summit Steward, according to a statement from DEC spokesman David Winchell.
The steward and a hiker who happened to be an off-duty paramedic provided cardiopulmonary resuscitation to Kazimirov, and an assistant forest ranger on patrol in the McIntyre Brook area responded to assist with CPR. Three forest rangers responded to the Lake Placid Airport, met a state police helicopter with a medic on board and flew to the mountain's summit. At 3:43 p.m., the medic stopped CPR, determining it was too late to save Kazimirov, Winchell said.
Kazimirov's body was flown to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake. State police and Environmental Conservation Police were notified and conducted an investigation, Winchell said.
State police Investigator Joel Revette said this morning that an autopsy determined Kazimirov died of natural causes due to a "coronary event."
The hike to Algonquin's summit from the Adirondak Loj, a popular trailhead just outside Lake Placid, is strenuous. While the distance is only 4 miles one way, the elevation gain from the trailhead to the summit is roughly 3,000 feet.
Kazimirov's death took place just five days after another hiking fatality in the High Peaks. Paul M. Gervais, 49, of Endicott, died after a 14-mile hike of Mount Colden, the state's 11th-highest peak. Gervais collapsed on the Van Hoevenburg Trail less than a quarter-mile from the trailhead, and forest rangers and emergency medical personnel were unable resuscitate him. An autopsy later found he had died of a heart attack.