Maunakea Rangers trek through white-out conditions to rescue lost hiker

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Maunakea Rangers rescued a 64-year-old hiker who was lost on the Humuʻula Trail at approximately 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 21.

The Rangers reported thick, white-out conditions at the 13,000-foot elevation mark on Maunakea where they trekked for about a mile through heavy snow and sleet to locate the hiker. Fire and rescue personnel from the U.S. Army Pohakuloa Training Center were also part of the rescue mission.

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The Rangers said they were able to pinpoint the hiker’s location through his cellphone when he dialed 911 and located him in a small cave between Waiau Lake and Maunakea Access Road. Rescuers said he was able to walk out on his own but was transported to the hospital.

Hikers are required to fill out forms at the Visitor Information Center on Maunakea where they are also briefed on safety protocols. Rangers said they attempted to contact the hiker several times after it got dark but were unsuccessful — they later discovered he put the wrong phone number on his form.

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The Rangers are part of the University of Hawaii’s Center for Maunakea Stewardship, which was established in 2000 to inform visitors about the cultural and scientific significance of the mauna. They are reminding visitors that dangerous wintry weather can happen at any time, with little warning, and emergency services may be delayed due to its remote location.

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