According to Lake County Search and Rescue (LCSAR), they called a lost hiker multiple times on their cell phone and the hiker didn’t pick up because it was an unknown number.
The county officials said they got a call around 8pm on October 18 that the hiker was lost on Mount Elbert. The caller said that the hiker started hiking Mount Elbert from the South Trailhead at 9am that morning, but had not returned by 8pm that following evening.
“Multiple attempts to contact the subject via their cell phone were unsuccessful. 5 LCSAR members deployed at 2200 to search high probability areas on Mount Elbert, but did not locate the subject, and left the field at approximately 0300 on the 19th,” LCSAR wrote on Facebook.
The next morning at around 7am, three LCSAR members started searching again, this time in a new area where hikers typically lose the trail. By 9:30am, the team received a call that the hiker had made it back to their lodging on their own and they could call off the search.
“The subject stated they’d lost the trail around nightfall and spent the night searching for the trail, and once on the trail, bounced around onto different trails trying to locate the proper trailhead, finally reaching their car the next morning, approximately 24 hours after they’d started their hike. They had no idea that SAR was out looking for them,” LCSAR said.
LCSAR said the notable take-away from this situation is that if you’re lost in the woods, and you’re getting a lot of calls from an unknown number, you should answer the phone. It might just be a rescue team trying to confirm your safety.