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Hiker trapped Mauna Loa: Hawaii snowstorm corners man, rescued by search crews

A snowy peak in distant Hawaii
A snowy peak in distant Hawaii
Photo File, Honolulu Inn Blog

A hiker trapped on Mauna Loa was fortunately rescued before suffering any lasting damage from the winter storm this week, but it was one frightening and potentially fatal scare. After a snowstorm hit the Hawaii volcano peaks, the 36-year-old man found himself cornered by powerful winds and freezing snow. The Epoch Times shares this Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, that the stranded hider was fortunately rescued by search crews a full two days after getting lost on the region’s massive summit.

The hiker trapped on Mauna Loa was recently identified as Alex Sverdlov, a 36-year-old experienced hiker hailing from Queens. The rescued man said that he was excited to be attempting the 18-mile hike to the very top of Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, a volcano part of the beautiful state’s Volcanoes National Park. Suddenly, a snowstorm struck the area, taking him by surprise and burying the summit in powerful winds, heavy snow, and slick ice.

Sverdlov had just reached the 13,677 ft. tall summit of Mauna Loa last Sunday when he found himself cornered in by the dangerous weather. He claimed that he attempted to find his lost backpack in the middle of the blizzard, but was unable to do so. In order to stay alive, he took shelter in a bulky outcropping until the following morning. Although he was then able to recover his pack, he was once again at an impasse: the snow had hit the Hawaii peak with such force and volume that there was no escape.

As stated by the “hiker trapped Mauna Loa” report, he was finally rescued late on Tuesday.

“The stranded traveler was rescued only after search crews found him. He didn’t have any food with him … Sverdlov was the only registered hiker taking the pass at the time. Rescue crews noticed that his car was parked at the bottom of the trail, and realized he must be stuck somewhere.”

“I’ve done many crazy hikes, but this one pretty much tops the bill,” Sverdlov said in a statement.

A park ranger said that this was a happy ending for the hiker, but that all people wanting to travel the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park should be prepared, as anything can happen when it comes to the weather.

“Even the most experienced and prepared hikers can get into trouble in the park,” Park Ranger John Broward, the park’s search-and-rescue coordinator, said in a statement on the snowstorm. “What saved Alex is that he had a backcountry permit so we knew he was up there. He is extremely fit, and he stayed calm. We’re all fortunate this had a happy ending.”

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