Hikers warned of dangerous conditions as volunteers continue search

Local News

Fire officials say conditions along the ridges of the Koolau Range are cold, slippery and foggy.

They’re also incredibly dangerous, especially for inexperienced hikers.

The warning comes as dozens of people join the search for Daylenn “Moke” Pua.

The 18-year-old visiting from the Big Island reportedly texted photos of himself on Haiku Stairs before he went missing.

Fire rescue crews scoured the area for four days and a U.S. Navy helicopter searched for another day. They found no sign of him.

While both have since called off their searches, there are still dedicated volunteers who haven’t given up.

Pua’s father did not want to be interviewed on camera, but told KHON2 he’s thankful for the help.

“I think the majority of the people here don’t even know him but we’re all volunteering,” said hiker Lisa Grisafe.

But their efforts come with a warning: be prepared if you plan to go up.

“It’s dangerous. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have some experience hiking especially in those conditions,” said Grisafe.

Grisafe was one of the people who reportedly heard a call for help on a recent hike. While she wasn’t with the search team at that time, she now wants to find where that voice was coming from.

“It was clear that it was a distressed call and then after that, we tried shouting back, but it was hard to hear because of the wind,” she said.

The Honolulu Fire Department wants to limit how many people are in the mountains, especially on trails not suitable for beginners and, in the case of Haiku Stairs, closed.

“The trails are very slippery and very steep,” said battalion chief Howard Naone. “If they are untrained and don’t know what they are doing, their goodwill could end up turning into more of a disaster, more of a heartache.”

Poor conditions forced firefighters to rescue two hikers from the Koolau mountains Thursday evening.

Officials say they called for help after becoming disoriented in the clouds and fog on Moanalua Valley Trail. Crews with the Honolulu Fire Department went in to find them on foot.

Officials say they were tourists and not part of the team looking for Pua.

HPD says any hiker should have the right equipment, including food and water, a cell phone and flashlight.

You should also know the terrain and never hike alone.

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