Haleakalā National Park Rangers Rescue Hikers Suffering From Hypothermia: Report

by Chris Haney

On Thursday, park rangers in Maui, Hawaii rescued five hikers after receiving distress calls from Haleakalā Crater. National Park Service (NPS) rangers responded around 5:30 a.m. on July 21st in the area of Kapalaoa Cabin. When they arrived, they made contact with three adults and two children suffering from varying stages of dehydration and hypothermia.

According to a report from Haleakalā National Park, the rangers treated the family at the scene. They provided warm blankets, food, and water to the group who are all Maui residents. The report also shared that one family member did not have the ability to walk out of the crater. Rangers had to carry the unnamed 40-year-old male three miles to the Haleakalā Visitor Center.

The NPS staff evaluated him and the rest of the family further while waiting on paramedics to arrive. However, all five hikers declined further medical care and did not go to the hospital. In the park’s report, Superintendent Natalie Gates thanked rescuers for their response.

“Thanks to a large team of hardworking first responders, tragedy was averted,” Gates said in the HNP press release.

Additionally, Chief Ranger Ari Wong added words of advice and cautioned both locals and tourists in the area.

“Visitors to our remote backcountry, whether they are locals or off-island tourists, need to be prepared for changing and challenging conditions. Don’t become complacent–you put yourselves, your loved ones, and our rangers at risk,” Wong added.

Hikers Speak Out About ‘Insanely Lucky’ Experience Amid Dangerous Flooding in National Park

In other national park news, a group of hikers in Utah escaped from dangerous flooding last month as they described their experience as “insanely lucky” to get out alive. At the end of June, the hikers went on a church campout in Capitol Reef National Park. Heavy rain while at the top of the mountain turned their overnight stay into an almost deadly camping trip.

According to a FOX News report, Noah Gremmert and Orrin Allen were among a large church group visiting the Utah park as rain began to pour down. The hikers were only five minutes from the top of the mountain when they realized they might be in trouble. They noticed the heavy rain wiped out a road on the opposite side of the mountain.

“We’re wandering down, we’re having a blast,” Orrin Allen said to the outlet. “We’re watching water gush off the sides of the canyon and it’s looking really cool. I’m following one of the waterfalls down with my eyes, and I was like, ‘Oh shoot, the road’s gone.'”

The church group expected rain, but had no idea things would take a turn for the worst. By the time the storm calmed down, three of the church members’ trucks were totaled. Yet, even worse, the trail they took up the mountain became completely flooded. Around 50 to 60 individuals became trapped temporarily since it was nearly impossible to travel down the mountain.

After much discussion, the group chose to traverse the mountain instead of waiting out the storm at a higher elevation. The church members hiked down the mountain on foot and escaped just in time.

“Everybody all worked together to get everyone safely down the mountain,” Gremmert said of the experience.

After the group made it off the mountain, a 15-year veteran park ranger told the hikers she’d never seen such bad flooding. The ranger called it the worst flooding she’d ever witnessed since working at the park.