A hiker lost for 24 hours ignored rescuers' phone calls because they didn't recognize the number

Normally, when you don't recognize a caller on your cellphone, it's fine to ignore it. If it's not actually a scammer but something important, they will leave a voice mail. But sometimes it's obvious you should pick up, even from a strange number, like, say, if you've been lost on a hiking trail for hours and night has set in.

But a hiker in Colorado's Rocky Mountains didn't see it this way. When they hit the trails at 9am earlier in the month and did not return by dark, people began to worry. So much so that by 8pm, the Lake County Search and Rescue team called the hiker's cellphone many times. But the hiker didn't answer. Not because they couldn't — but because they didn't know who was calling them.

This led to a middle-of-the-night search, with five SAR members searching Mt. Elbert at 10pm and returning at 3am empty handed.

Turns out the hiker, who had "bounced around onto different trails trying to locate the proper trailhead," according to LCSR's Facebook post, finally showed up at their car 24 hours later.

"One notable take-away is that the subject ignored repeated phone calls from us because they didn't recognize the number," the LCSR said. "If you're overdue according to your itinerary, and you start getting repeated calls from an unknown number, please answer the phone; it may be a SAR team trying to confirm you're safe! 

Via HuffPost