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Guam area where hiker died is ‘very dangerous’

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HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — A leader with the Guam Boonie Stompers had just told the hiking group that the area is dangerous and to be very careful when a man who was with them fell about 100 feet into a cavern and to his death on Saturday in Talofofo.

The view as seen from the entrance of the Talofofo Caves is shown in this photo. Hikers are urged to be extremely cautious.  The Guam Daily Post photo

The hiker, who has been identified only as a man in his 50s or 60s, died at the scene.

Ed Feely, president of Guam Boonie Stompers, said the man had been on only two previous hikes with the group.

The nonprofit group does weekly hikes each Saturday. Feely said it’s been doing boonie stomps for the past 50 years.

The Guam Boonie Stompers Facebook page tells hikers part of the Talofofo Caves hike involves a walk to the back entrance to the Big Cave. “You can climb down and explore, but it’s a long vertical drop on an old rope requiring upper body strength and no fear of heights to enter and leave. Do so at your own risk.”

Feely was not part of Saturday’s hike, but he said he had learned about the tragedy from others in the group who participated.

“Everyone is just trying to cope with it,” he said. “The area he had gone to was very dangerous. We don’t normally lead groups down to the bottom of that big cave.” Feely said the man “went ahead of the leader and was on the rope by the time the leader got there. The leader was advising everyone that it was a dangerous area and they need to be very careful. That’s when the incident happened.”

Feely said the ropes in the area have been there for a long time.

“As soon as the incident happened, the first responders cleared everyone out of the cave and no one was able to get down to him. The first responders went down. They are investigating, so we don’t know all the details.”

The hike involved about 40 people divided into four groups. The hikers didn’t know someone was missing until they got back together and made a head count.

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