(BIVN) – A mountain biker that got lost on Mauna Kea was rescued by a Pohakuloa Training Area Medivac Blackhawk early Thursday morning.
The 53 year old male biker was visiting from Europe and rode his bike from Holualoa to Mauna Kea, county fire officials say. “While traversing the mountain via the ‘hunter access road’ at approximately 8,000 ft. elevation, he took a trail off the main dirt road and subsequently succumbed to cold, rain, dense fog and strong winds,” the fire dispatch reported. “Summit temperatures were in the mid 30’s mid day.”
The lost biker was located at the 12,000 level by the PTA Medivac Blackhawk, which was called in to provide mutual aid. The biker was extricated and transported to North Hawaii ER for treatment of minor injuries, officials say.
“Pohakuloa Training Area has an automatic mutual aid agreement with Hawaiʻi County,” explained PTA Commander Lt. Col. JR Borce. “Hawaiʻi County had called and asked for assistance with the chopper. They have two choppers on island. Those choppers was not able to get to the elevation of 11,000 feet.”
PTA conducts high altitude training at the base.
“It helps them also keep their training proficiency at a high level,” Borce said of the mutual aid agreement, “because they’re doing it for real. It’s not training.”