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Hiker trapped Mauna Loa: Man slept buried in snow to survive

Hiker trapped Mauna Loa.
Hiker trapped Mauna Loa.
Commons Wikimedia

A hiker trapped on Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii managed to survive for two nights after a massive snow storm blew in. On Jan. 31 NewsMax reported that Alex Sverdlov, 36, of New York hiked to the top of Mauna Loa Tuesday. Thinking he would come back for his gear later, Sverdlov decided to leave it behind and would just pick it up later after he descended the mountaintop. Little did he know a rapidly moving storm was about to hit with heavy snowfall and high winds.

The hiker trapped at Mauna Loa was unable to find his gear and bundled up as best he could in the meantime. He only had the clothes he was wearing and a bottle of frozen water. Sverdlov buried himself in the snow to avoid freezing temperatures as much as possible. The next day he was able to locate his gear, but still could not safely get back down the difficult trail. He stayed another night, but had his sleeping bag the second time.

Park rangers knew they had a hiker trapped on Mauna Loa because Sverdlo had a back country permit and his car was spotted Tuesday. On Wednesday search helicopters went out.

Sverdlov said he's done a lot of "crazy" hikes, but this one tops them all. He was relieved to hear the helicopters.

When he was rescued, he shared how the two nights were sleeping on the mountain.

“I was shivering all night, but I didn't die,” he said. “The second night I had my sleeping bag, so I did the same thing except in the sleeping bag and it was warmer in the sleeping bag.”

The hiker said hearing the rescue helicopter was the “best moment of my life.”

What if Sverdlov had to wait even longer before being rescued? He said he would have had to walk down and "probably would have made it, but it would've been another three or four days and those would've been a horrible, horrible three or four days."

What a scary experience. The "hiker trapped Mauna Loa" story shows how much fortitude Sverdlov had to live through such brutal conditions. He is lucky park rangers knew he was still up the mountain.

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