Man Survives 1000-Foot Fall Off Cliff While Hiking in Hawaii

Hiking can be an exhilarating adventure, but it can also pose unexpected dangers. Ian Snyder, a 34-year-old avid outdoorsman from Ferndale, California, experienced a harrowing ordeal when he slipped and fell from the Koolau Summit Trail in Oahu, Hawaii. Plummeting a staggering 1,000 feet down the cliff, Snyder miraculously survived for three days, injured and alone at the base of a waterfall.

The Tragic Fall

On a fateful day, Snyder embarked on a hike along the Koolau Summit Trail near the Pali Notches Trail. As he trekked through the picturesque landscapes of Oahu, tragedy struck when he slipped and lost his footing. Snyder has no memory of the terrifying fall that sent him hurtling down the 1,000-foot cliff. It is a baffling mystery how he managed to survive such a treacherous descent.

“I couldn’t believe when people were telling me, ‘You fell 1,000 feet down the cliff,’ and I’m like how did I even survive?” Snyder expressed at a press conference.

Alone at the Base of the Waterfall

Regaining consciousness, Snyder found himself near a waterfall. This fortunate discovery became instrumental in his survival over the next few days. Despite being injured and stranded, Snyder resourcefully ensured he had access to water by positioning himself where he could reach it with his right hand. This small act of preparation would prove vital during his arduous journey.

“I made sure I had a spot where I could get the water as needed with my right hand,” Snyder recounted. “And I kind of just hunkered down from there, and time passed.”

Desperate Loved Ones and a Fateful Tweet

While Snyder fought for his life in isolation, his worried family members grew increasingly concerned after realizing they hadn’t heard from him. Their alarm heightened when they discovered his last communication was a tweet on Dec. 4, where he shared a video from his hike. Snyder’s caption, “Current situation,” accompanied a mesmerizing view of low clouds enveloping a lush mountainside.

The Search and Rescue Efforts

Faced with mounting anxiety, Snyder’s family members promptly alerted the authorities about his disappearance. The Honolulu Fire Department swiftly launched a search and rescue operation. Utilizing the information from Snyder’s tweet, they were able to pinpoint his approximate location, which significantly aided their efforts.

“It is truly a miracle that Ian is still with us today, and soon, on his way home to California to celebrate the holiday season,” the Honolulu Fire Department expressed in a statement.

The Heroic Rescue

Finally, after three grueling days, the moment of salvation arrived. Rescuers located Snyder and airlifted him from the treacherous terrain. Despite the severity of his injuries, including a fractured cheekbone and arm, Snyder expressed his gratitude for the first responders who played a pivotal role in his survival.

“I’m glad to be here, incredibly glad to be here and glad to be in mostly one piece,” Snyder exclaimed. “I’m incredibly grateful to all of you for the job you do each and every day.”

The Faith That Sustained Snyder

Throughout his ordeal, Snyder relied on his unwavering faith to find solace and strength. His unyielding belief in a higher power provided him with the resilience to endure the physical and emotional challenges he faced during those long, agonizing days.


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