• A hiker who got lost on a mountain in Colorado ignored calls from rescuers because they were unfamiliar with the phone number
  • The hiker returned to their car on their own around 24 hours after they started their climb
  • Search and rescue officials reminded hikers to answer their phones should they fail to return from a trek on time

A hiker who got lost along a trail on a mountain in Colorado last week ignored repeated phone calls from rescuers because they did not recognize the caller's number, officials said.

The unnamed Mount Elbert hiker was reported missing around 8 p.m. on Oct. 18, the Lake County Search and Rescue (LCSAR) said in a statement. They started their hike from the mountain's South Trailhead at around 9 a.m. that day but did not return that evening, according to officials.

The LCSAR made multiple attempts to contact the missing hiker via their cellphone, but they were unsuccessful.

Five rescuers were then deployed that night to search high probability areas on Mount Elbert, which is the Rocky Mountains' highest summit as well as Colorado's highest point.

Another search was started the following morning with a team consisting of three LCSAR members in a different area after the initial search failed to locate the missing hiker.

All LCSAR personnel were pulled out of the field by 10 a.m. Oct. 19 after the hiker returned to their car, the search and rescue organization said in its statement.

The hiker said they spent the night searching for the trail after they became lost. They bounced around onto different trails in an attempt to locate the proper trailhead, which ultimately led them back to their car approximately 24 hours after they started their hike.

The LCSAR did not disclose the condition of the hiker.

Officials later discovered that the hiker, who was unaware that rescuers were out looking for them, ignored repeated phone calls from the LCSAR because they did not recognize the number.

"If you're overdue according to your itinerary, and you start getting repeated calls from an unknown number, please answer the phone," the LCSAR said in its statement.

"[I]t may be a [search and rescue] team trying to confirm you're safe!" the organization explained.

The LCSAR reminded Mount Elbert hikers that the trail is obscured by snow above the tree line and will likely remain in that condition until late June next year.

Officials also warned hikers not to rely on following ascent tracks to descend the mountain as the wind would likely cover the tracks.

Representation. Members of the Lake County Search and Rescue were deployed to Mount Elbert on Oct. 18 after they received a report of a missing hiker. Pixabay