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Hiker falls 150 feet to his death from ridge above Waimanalo

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:43 p.m. HST, Mar 19, 2012

An Oahu man believed to be in his 40s died after he fell about 150 feet off a narrow ridge on an unofficial trail in Waimanalo Sunday.

According to Honolulu Fire Department spokesman Capt. James Todd, the man was hiking with a group of 11 others from Hilltop Ranch to a point along the Koolau summit ridge via a dangerous pass known to local hikers as Bear’s Claw.

Todd said the trail is “definitely for very experienced hikers.”

“You could be in a world of hurt,” Todd said of hiking the trail. “I wouldn’t attempt it.”

Seven of the hikers made it safely to the end. The man who died was with the remaining four others when he apparently grabbed hold of a loose boulder that then dislodged from the ridge, causing him to fall down the nearly vertical cliff shortly after 12:30 p.m.

The man’s body wedged into the mountain, preventing it from falling hundreds of feet more, Todd said.

HFD rescue personnel reached the body shortly after 2 p.m. and found “no obvious signs of life.” They removed the body and evacuated the remaining hikers — three men and a woman — from the ridge via helicopter.

No other injuries were reported.

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