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Hiker trapped Mauna Loa: Hiker survives snow storm, trapped for 2 days

Mauna Loa
Mauna Loa
Brocken Inaglory / Wikimedia Commons

A hiker trapped on Mauna Loa, a Hawaii volcano summit, survived to tell the tale. On Jan. 31, NBC News reported that Alex Sverdlov, 36, of Queens, New York was descending Mauna Loa at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Sunday when a winter storm rolled in. The white-out conditions made it impossible for Sverdlov to see let alone try and maneuver his way to safety.

"Sverdlov tried unsuccessfully to find his pack in blinding white-out conditions and, when night fell, decided to hunker down until the next day, according to the park service. All he had were the clothes on his back and a frozen bottle of water," NBC News reported.

The hiker was trapped for a second night despite a small victory: He was able to find his pack which he dropped at a lower elevation while making his climb the day before.

Fortunately search crews were able to locate Sverdlov before he was forced to spend a third night in the bitter cold. A helicopter was sent out to look for Sverdlov, who had obtained a backcountry (sic) permit before his hike. Rangers noticed that his car was still in their lot and that's when they decided to send a helicopter out to find him. Rangers say that the permit Sverdlov obtained saved his life.

Though the hiker was trapped in the cold and could have died, he still loves hiking and says that he will continue to do so. He has already purchased a permit for the park’s coast for another hike very soon.

© Effie Orfanides 2014