Hiker lost on Colorado mountain for more than 24 hours ignored calls from rescuers because they ‘didn’t want to pick up an unknown number’
- A hiker who was lost on a Colorado mountain for more than 24 hours ignored calls from the search and rescue team because they didn’t know the number
- The hiker was reported missing to Lake County Search and Rescue (SAR) on October 18 when they were overdue from their hike on Mount Elbert
- Teams were sent out to different areas to search for the hiker through the night until they received word that the hiker had made it back to their place of lodging
- ‘If you’re overdue according to your itinerary, and you start getting repeated calls from an unknown number, please answer the phone,’ SAR posted online
A hiker who was lost on a Colorado mountain for more than 24 hours ignored calls from the search and rescue team because they didn’t recognize the phone number.
The hiker was reported missing to Lake County Search and Rescue around 8pm on October 18 after they failed to return from their morning hike on Mount Elbert.
Search and rescuers were informed that the hiker had begun at the South Trailhead at 9am that morning but hadn’t returned to base 11 hours later.
The team then called the hiker several times to try to locate them but never got ahold of them.
Rescue teams spent the evening searching for the missing man and continued the search through to the next day, only to learn the hiker – who was completely unaware anyone was looking for him – had returned home safely at 9.30am that morning, on October 19.
The hiker was reported missing around 8pm when they were overdue from their hike starting at the South Trailhead, one of the most popular trails of the five routes along the mountain
The hiker, who has not been named, told authorities that they’d lost trail as the sunset and continued to search for the trail overnight.
They eventually found a path and walked along several trails until they finally found the way back to their car around 9am.
Many on social media were baffled as to why the lost hiker ignored their phone for so long. Some poked fun at the stereotype of millennials being averse to talking on the phone.
‘Say you are a millennial without saying you are a millennial,’ @Vmigrator commented.
User @StevenMandrapa tweeted: ’10 to 1 odds this was a millennial lol.’
Others questioned how the hiker got lost if he had cell service.
‘How are you lost if your phone works??’ @who_remains tweeted following up with ‘Somebody lying.’
User @406ladypatriot mirrored the sentiment tweeting: ‘If you have cell service you’re not lost!!’
@gallerychapel tweeted: ‘Suddenly I’m not surprised this person got lost.’
But Lake County Search and Rescue came to their defense, said: ‘Please remember that what seems like common sense in hindsight is not obvious to a subject in the moment when they are lost and panicking.
‘Please keep your comments respectful.’
However, the team did urge hikers to pick up their cellphones if they found themselves in the same scenario.
‘If you’re overdue according to your itinerary, and you start getting repeated calls from an unknown number, please answer the phone,’ Lake County SAR posted on Facebook
A hiker who got lost on Mount Elbert in Colorado for more than 24 hours ignored calls from the Lake County Search and Rescue team because they didn’t recognize the phone number
‘If you’re overdue according to your itinerary, and you start getting repeated calls from an unknown number, please answer the phone; it may be a SAR team trying to confirm you’re safe!’
It would have saved two teams, of five and three rescue team members from spending hours scouring the mountainside after the hiker was reported lost on October 18.
Rescuers searched ‘high probability’ areas from 10pm to 3am before calling off the search that night.
They regrouped at 7am the following day at ‘a new area where hikers typically lose the trail’ until they learned that the hiker had returned safely.
Mount Elbert is Colorado’s highest peak and the second highest peak in the lower 48 states. The mountain has five main routes to the peak, one of the two most popular is the South Trail.
The 5.8 mile route is listed as a ‘relatively easy,’ path by the Department of Agriculture Forest Service.