• Lost US hiker refuses to answer rescuer's phone calls
    Lost US hiker refuses to answer rescuer's phone calls

This could have been one for the Darwin awards.

A Colorado hiker who got lost on a trail ignored calls from search and rescue officials who tried to locate them for 24 hours because he didn't recognise the number that called them repeatedly.

Lake County Search and Rescue officials described the ordeal, which happened on Mount Elbert, Colorado's highest peak.

Officials said the hiker set out at 9am (local time) on October 18. By 8pm, they began searching for the hiker when someone reported he hiker hadn't returned from the hike.

"Multiple attempts to contact the subject via their cell phone were unsuccessful," the Facebook post said.

Officials said a team of five set out at 11pm to search for the missing hiker and stayed out until 3am on October 19. A team of three then picked up the search a few hours later, at 7am, looking in areas where hikers typically get lost.

But by 9.30am the following day, the search was called off.

"At approximately 0930 the reporting party reported the subject had returned to their place of lodging. All personnel were out of the field by 1000," the Facebook post said.

Officials said the hiker "lost the trail around nightfall and spent the night searching for the trail, and once on the trail, bounced around onto different trails trying to locate the proper trailhead."

The missing hiker reached his car the next morning, 24 hours after he'd set out for the day hike. They had no idea that a search and rescue operation was underway because they had declined calls coming in from the officials.

"One notable take-away is that the subject ignored repeated phone calls from us because they didn't recognise the number," officials 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!"

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