Lost Hiker Prevents Their Own Rescue By Ignoring Calls Due To Unknown Number

As we go through life, we tend to develop a series of codes and personal policies that help make our lives a little easier.

What we do and what we avoid varies from person to person and depends a lot on where they are, but a common one involves simply not answering when we get a call from an unknown number. After all, those calls are usually from people that we'd never want to talk to like telemarketers or scammers.

But at the same time, we can sometimes find that we get ourselves in more trouble by following a rule too rigidly than if we didn't have it in place at all.

And that's how one hiker ended up embarrassing themselves after they got lost on a mountain trail.

Colorado's Mount Elbert features the highest peak in the state, but it's not always so easy to reach.

As a representative from Lake County Search and Rescue wrote on Facebook, "The trail is obscured by snow above treeline, and will be in that condition now through probably late June. Please don’t count on following your ascent tracks to descend the mountain, as wind will often cover your tracks."

This appeared to be the problem that befell one hiker who set out at 9 am on October 18 and remained missing by 8 pm that evening.

By that time, someone who was expecting them contacted the search and rescue service.

According to Insider, rescuers tried to reach the hiker by calling their cell phone several times to no avail.

That being the case, a team of five set out to look for them in areas where hikers commonly get lost by 11 pm. After they couldn't find the person by 3 am, they were relieved by another team of three rescuers who set out at 7 am.

However, after they had gone missing for 24 hours, the hiker finally returned to their car by 9:30 am and the search was called off.

In that time, the hiker had lost the trail and wandered around until they found it again, at which point they spent the rest of the night trying to find the right one.

As the search and rescue service wrote, "They had no idea that [Search and Rescue] was out looking for them."

And it turns out that this was because every time the service called this person, they ignored it because the call was coming from an unknown number.

This frustrating situation compelled the service to write, "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!"

But while they recognized that this advice likely seemed like common sense to their followers, they asked people to keep their comments respectful because such considerations only seem obvious when you're not lost and panicking.

It's hard to imagine how embarrassed that hiker must have felt once they realized what was going on.

h/t: Facebook | Lake County Search and Rescue

Filed Under: