OHE September 4, 1997

From: "Dayle K. Turner" (turner@hawaii.edu)

Heard on the news last night and read in the paper this a.m. about a hiker named Daniel Rasmussen who's lost in the Koolaus. Apparently, the guy was dropped off alone near Helemano Military Reservation on Sunday morning and told friends he'd come out on the windward side--Malaekahana State park, specifically--on Monday.

Although this morning's HON ADV article didn't say so, my guess is that he went up Poamoho and intended to cross over on the KST to the Laie trail. Rasmussen apparently made it to the summit, for he called friends with his cell phone on Sunday afternoon, reporting he could see Goat Island off Laie.

After a Monday morning call to check in with his Navy unit at Barber's Point, he hasn't been heard from since. He was reportedly carrying ample water, food, and camping gear for an overnight stay in the hills.

A couple points--

--Getting lost in that section between Poamoho and Laie is a real possibility, based on the experience Pat, Pete, Laredo, and I had on that same stretch a few months ago. At one juncture, the KST veers away from the summit crest. If conditions are cloudy, one could easily go off course by incorrectly following the crest toward the area above Sacred Falls instead of turning inland where the summit trail actually goes. We had a topo map and clear conditions and still went astray for a little while.

--Since the guy hasn't contacted anyone since Monday, either the battery on his cell phone has gone dead, or Rasmussen is in a position (e.g. a ravine) where it won't work. Hopefully, he hasn't joined Wade Johnson.

Also noticed Pete Caldwell's fire rescue buddy Aaron Young being interviewed on the tube.

--Dayle



Reply From: Patrick Rorie (prorie@hekili.k12.hi.us)

I called Mabel Kekina (HTMC trail maintenance coordinator) last night thinking that she had been contacted to help with the search. I was eager to volunteer. However, as of last night she had not been contacted so she is "sitting tight".

She shared a lot of interesting info with me which I want to pass on. Al Miller told her that there are 14 waterfalls above the normal termination point of the Maakua Gulch Trail. "It goes way back". From Kamapua'a Trail you can see three of the upper falls. Once when I had my binoculars I could see ropes along side these upper falls. I think rock climbers put them in. Theoretically it is possible to go from the normal termination point of Maakua Gulch Trail all the way to the Ko'olau Summit if the rock climbers have placed ropes all along the way. Once when I was at the end of the Sacred Falls Trail I looked thru my binoculars and saw rock climbing rope at the top of the falls. I have always wanted to go down Kaluanui Stream where Castle Trail crosses it toward Sacred Falls to find out if there are any ropes along the falls. I have been told that Dick Davis used to ascend the falls above Sacred Falls using ropes.

Finally, Mabel shared with me a comment that Fred Dodge made after completing the Heleakala-Palehua traverse a few years back... "I will never do this again !".

Just opened this morning's Advertiser. On page B3 is an article about the lost hiker entitled "Lone hiker missing in Koolaus".

"Solo hiker Daniel M. Rasmussen remained missing last night after a Fire Department rescue team and helicopter searched the northern Koolau Mountains yesterday for more than eight hours. The search is to resume this morning. Rasmussen, 20, was last seen around 9 a.m. Sunday near Helemano Military Reservation, where a friend dropped him off near a trail head, Officer Joe Self of the police's Missing Persons Detail said yesterday. Rasmussen was to hike along Koolau Summit Trail and arrive Monday morning at Malaekahana State Park, where he was to be picked up by another friend. Rasmussen used a cellular telephone to contact friends late Sunday afternoon, said Self, and to check in Monday morning with his Navy unit at Barbers Point, Patrol Squad 47. He has not been heard from since and was reported missing around 8 p.m. Tuesday after failing to turn up for duty. Although Rasmussen did not report his location during calls, said Self, he did say he could see Goat Island, a bird sanctuary off Malaekahana's beach. Yesterday's search, which was based at Kahuku Fire Station, ranged along the summit trail, which overlooks the steep valleys of the Windward Coast, and into other areas, said Self. Self said Rasmussen left a hiking plan, took water, and food for two days, a tent, foul-weather gear and a cell phone, but still made a mistake. "He's traveling alone", said Self. "If he slipped and fell, nobody would know. I don't know if he has an extra cell phone battery; we cannot make contact with him. His voice (mail) box is full. He's dead or he's hurt. We don't know." Rasmussen, who is from Texas, is said to be an avid hiker who likes to look into valleys, said Self. "But we don't know how good a hiker he is," he said. "Maybe back home, he might know the area. But here, in Hawaii, it's different type of terrain. Its porous rocks. You can run into a lot of dangers up there, especially if you don't know the mountains". Rasmussen is 6 feet 1 and 160 pounds, and has brown hair and eyes. He was last seen wearing denim pants, a red or blue bandanna and hiking boots, and was carrying a camping back-pack. Anyone with information about Rasmussen should call police at 529-3064 or 955-8300."*

REFERENCES

* Ramirez, Tino "Lone hiker missing in Koolaus" HONOLULU ADVERTISER Hawaii section page B-3 September 4, 1997.

== Paka-lolo



Reply From: MaryAnne Long (malong@lava.net)

> At 09:07 AM 9/4/97 -1000, you wrote:......
> Once when I was at the end of the Sacred Falls Trail I looked thru my
> binoculars and saw rock climbing rope at the top of the falls.

I saw an orange-red rope on Sunday, way up at the top of Sacred Falls. Looked awfully thin. Hope you guys aren't going to try to climb it, especially since it was only hanging down about 30 feet.

Heard the hiker was found about an hour ago - very much alive. Thank God.

malong



Check out a HONOLULU STAR-BULLETIN article about the rescue.
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