Man unhurt after sliding hundreds of feet down Hawaii peak

HONOLULU — A man was unharmed after sliding hundreds of feet down a slope from the summit of Hawaii’s highest mountain, authorities said.

The Hawaii County Fire Department estimated the man slid about 700 feet (213 meters) down an icy slope on Mauna Kea shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday.

Rescue teams from Hawaii County and the Pohakuloa Training Area responded to the accident involving the man in his 20s.

The man became separated from his group, stepped over a guardrail and slipped, authorities said.

Rescuers who found the man said he was in the early stages of hypothermia, with the temperature at about 23 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 5 Celsius).

Rescue crews used a rope system to pull him back up to the summit.

After initial treatment for hypothermia, the man’s condition improved, and he refused to be transported to a hospital. No other injuries were reported. He was not identified.

The Mauna Kea summit, which receives only intermittent snowfall, is just over 13,800 feet (4,206 meters).

Snow covered the mountain’s summit throughout January, drawing groups of sightseers and sporting enthusiasts who enjoyed the unusual weather with snowboards and sleds.

A 23-year-old woman was seriously injured Jan. 29 when she crashed into rocks while sliding down the summit on a body board, the county fire department said.

In February 2019, a video was posted showing three people skiing and snowboarding on the mountain through bare dirt and rocks.

The Office of Maunakea Management condemned the actions as disrespectful to Native Hawaiians and others who consider the mountain sacred.

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