A hiker who got lost in the Rocky Mountains ignored repeated phone calls from rescue crews because they didn’t recognize the number.
Lake County Search and Rescue mobilized at 8 p.m. on Oct. 18 after the hiker failed to return from an expedition on Mount Elbert in Colorado, rescuers wrote on Facebook. Search teams couldn’t locate the walker and multiple calls to their cellphone went unanswered.
The person “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, finally reaching their car the next morning, approximately 24 hours after they’d started their hike,” said rescuers.
The hiker was oblivious to the search and rescue operation.
“One notable take-away is that the subject ignored repeated phone calls from us because they didn’t recognize the number,” said rescuers. “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!”
After the post went viral, rescuers urged people to keep their comments “respectful.”
“Please remember that what seems like common sense in hindsight is not obvious to a subject in the moment when they are lost and panicking,” the search and rescue post said. “In Colorado, most folks who spend time outdoors have a good understanding of the SAR infrastructure that is there to help them, but this is not the case nationwide.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.