A New York hiker was rescued from a Hawaiian volcano Thursday after being stranded by blizzard.
Alex Sverdlov, 36, was descending the Mauna Loa's 13,677-foot summit on Tuesday when a snow storm created white-out conditions. Park rangers unsuccessfully tried to contact him by cell phone when the weather took a turn for the worse and the park closed to visitors.
Having taken off his backpack, the Queens man was unable to find it and had to spend the night protected only by his clothes.
He found the pack the next day, but had difficulty hiking down in the snow. He spent a second night on Mauna Loa in his sleeping bag.
Park search and rescue was deployed when his car was found Wednesday.
The experienced hiker was beginning to think he would die on the volcano, when he was saved by a rescue helicopter.
“I've done many crazy hikes, but this one pretty much tops the bill,” Sverdlov said.
Ranger John Broward said Sverdlov had a permit and rangers were aware of his presence on the mountain. Otherwise he might not have been rescued in time.
Sverdlov, a computer science professor at Brooklyn College, successfully hiked the volcano last year.
After his rescue, he plans to explore the coastal area of the 330,000-acre national park.
“This time I'm going to the sunny part of the park,” he said.