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Hikers safe after weather closes in on Haiku stairs

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 02:04 a.m. HST, Dec 02, 2013

A group of hikers that called for help after getting stuck at the top of the Stairway to Heaven trail this morning wound up hiking down the stairs on their own later in the day, a Honolulu Fire Department spokesman said. 

A rescue crew responded to an 11 a.m. call for help, and HFD decided to suspend the mission around noon until the weather cleared up, Capt. James Todd said. 

Todd said it appeared the hikers went up the stairs early in the morning with plans to continue hiking along the Moanalua Saddle trail to Moanalua Valley, but they couldn't traverse the trail because of the weather. 

They made it out on their own sometime between noon and about 3 p.m., he said. 

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residenttaxpayer wrote:
Not very smart to hiking when there are heavy downpours and flash flood warnings.....
on December 1,2013 | 05:22PM
Anonymous wrote:
especially on a closed trail
on December 1,2013 | 05:35PM
bobbob wrote:
lol... common sense is not so common today
on December 2,2013 | 01:09AM
control wrote:
Gosh, all that smart phone technology and too clueless to check the weather reports.
on December 1,2013 | 05:40PM
HanabataDays wrote:
These days, cell phones give hikers a false sense of security. They figure it's so easy to call in a dust-off if anything happens, they put common sense on the back burner and go hiking when any babooze would be staying home watching football.
on December 2,2013 | 03:30AM
lynnh wrote:
Arrest them for stupidity and costing taxpayers.
on December 1,2013 | 06:31PM
kahuku01 wrote:
The state and city officials are just as stupid if they don't cite these ignorant individuals for trespassing. No Trespassing signs are posted to keep the intelligent people out, but the stupid will always find a way to beat the posted signs. Either, for once and for all, the city should dismantle the stairs or open it up to the public. It's been years since the stairs has been closed only because the state and city elected officials have acted ( by creating a separate entrance and parking area, away from the sub-dividion) like molasses, slow as usual, until something drastically happens on the trail or mountain top and will react because of liability. This stairway situation has been unsolved by elected state and city officials for too long. Like many of the city and state projects, maybe it's time that they hire an outside consultant to solve their problems since they don't have the smarts to put an end to this problem.
on December 2,2013 | 05:20AM
cojef wrote:
Agree, city fathers, if you could really call them that, feel if they ignore the problem, it will fester awhile and will eventually die and disappear. Unless a severe calamity or tragic event occurs there will be no movemen on their part.
on December 2,2013 | 07:39AM
star08 wrote:
Ignorance to the max.
on December 1,2013 | 07:19PM
livinginhawaii wrote:
So did Capt Todd call the cops to have these criminals arrested? If not, why not?
on December 1,2013 | 07:41PM
scooters wrote:
Dumb butts.Plus trespassing...
on December 1,2013 | 07:55PM
Smiley7 wrote:
The entitled ones, laws do not apply to them and the worst part is they keep getting away. Watch as nothing will happen and this will be treated as an "aw shucks" event. Auwe!
on December 2,2013 | 03:30AM
Russmari wrote:
freaken idiots!!!
on December 2,2013 | 05:10AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Hikers are nutty and should be made to pay for their own foolishness. Who in the world would go hiking yesterday -- only lolo?
on December 2,2013 | 06:13AM
HAJAA1 wrote:
Smart hiking in stormy weather. And we have to pay for these cretins. There should be a law lol
on December 2,2013 | 06:29AM
KekoaBradshaw wrote:
These "hikers" were not real, serious hikers, A real hiker checks the weather forecast before going on the hike, and he/she doesn't hike on closed trails. They're closed for a reason.
on December 2,2013 | 07:11AM
SteveToo wrote:
The following is a quote from one of those hikers: "Despite the media snippet, we weren't stuck anywhere near the the stairs. It was a shortcut and the bail out. I'd have rather done this as a Moanalua Saddle and Middle Ridge loop if we had the time and opportunity. I'd like to clear that up, if anything. We were halfway down the hardest parts of the saddle when our own rope got caught on the carabiner and we couldn't retrieve it or descend further (no more ropes further down). ~15 minutes after deciding to head back (giving up on the decent), the morning's clear weather quickly turned to a thunderstorm (~8am). There was no intention on trying to finish the saddle, or go into the valley once the rain started (flash floods, waterfalls already roaring). The stairs were the only option back to safety, but were in no way the purpose of the hike (had a car waiting in Moanalua park). There's a horizontal tree branch holding ropes/cables for one of the steep sections (if you've been on the saddle, you should know it). Because it was already starting to give out on the way down, we tried to find a way to go around it on the leeward side to come back up. Instead, we ended up on a cliff with no good way up or down. The only real smart decision of the morning was to call rescue while we still had phones and consciousness. We were extremely lucky to have been able to pull (and fall) ourselves off the cliff, and get back up the saddle in the downpour. Our legs would have given out and hypothermia would have set in long before a helicopter could have come. Besides a few cuts and bruises to the body and pride, we're completely fine, and very lucky to be so. I take full responsibility for everything that happened and am done hiking for a long time. I pushed my limits too far this time and have to reevaluate what exactly I want from all of this. My partner's still game for the easier stuff, but after the scares I got today, I'm gonna be a beach person for awhile..."
on December 2,2013 | 07:12AM
paniolo wrote:
This lolo said "I'm gonna be a beach person for awhile." Yeah watch, he probably going in the water when the surf is up and signs posted as beach closed. Going take lifeguards to get him out of the ocean.
on December 2,2013 | 07:32AM
loquaciousone wrote:
I hope nobody fed the sharks for a while.
on December 2,2013 | 07:50AM
control wrote:
golly gee, that makes everything all okay then...NOT!
on December 2,2013 | 07:34AM
lynnh wrote:
First: The weather didn't "close in" on these people. It had been raining since before dawn. Second: only a complete idiot would go out hiking in that weather.
on December 2,2013 | 08:45AM
OldEnoughToRemember wrote:
Allow access to the STH by permit only. Send a bill to cover rescue costs due to ignorance. When folks realize firsthand that ignorance is expensive, they tend to wise up!
on December 2,2013 | 09:11AM
kahuku01 wrote:
Agree! But your suggestion is too simple and easy for an elected official to suggest and put into a bill. They will need to hire a consultant from the mainland to solve this problem, since it's too difficult to decide what to do with the whole issue, (parking, public right of way, liability, cost, hired employees, charging public to use stairways or parking and etc.)
on December 2,2013 | 09:43AM
mcc wrote:
They should have to pay for the rescue effort.
on December 2,2013 | 11:16AM
Anonymous wrote:
It's gotta be 15 years since the stairs have been maintained. maintenance is probably long overdue making it much more possible that someone will get hurt on the stairs. Knowing that dozens of people per day hike the stairs (wink, wink), is the City (i.e. taxpayers) exposing itself to negligence liability? At what point does the city have to just make the decision to dismantle what's left of the stairs?
on December 2,2013 | 12:11PM
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