A Lost US Hiker Ignored Rescue Calls Because They 'Didn't Recognize The Number'

If there's one thing worse than being lost in the wilderness, it's being lost and answering calls from a phone scammer.

That fear seemingly prevented a hiker from answering the phone while lost on Colorado's Mount Elbert, according to the local search and rescue team.

The unidentified (and probably millennial) person set out to hike Colorado's highest mountain at 9 a.m. on October 18, according to the slightly annoyed folks at Lake County Search and Rescue.

The hiker was reported missing when they didn't return home at 8 p.m., so search and rescue crews went out in the dark to try to find them. Rescuers ended up searching into the early morning hours but they found nothing.

Rescuers also tried calling the hiker — a lot — but the person didn't answer, and they later learned why.

"The subject ignored repeated phone calls from us because they didn't recognize the number," rescuers wrote in a Facebook post. "They had no idea that [search and rescue] was out looking for them."

The hiker later said they got lost after dark and spent the night trying to find the trail again. They ultimately did find it, made their way back to their car and arrived home around 9:30 a.m. the next day.

They realized at that point that they'd been reported missing due to their 24-hour absence, so they let search and rescue know that they were safe.

Lake County Search and Rescue tried to frame it as a teachable moment in its statement.

"If you're overdue according to your itinerary, and you start getting repeated calls from an unknown number, please answer the phone," they wrote.

"It may be a [search and rescue] team trying to confirm you're safe!"

This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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