18-year-old hiker dies after collapsing on popular Hawaii trail


(KHON) — An 18-year-old has died after collapsing on a popular hiking trail in Pearl City.

It happened at around 7:30 p.m. Sunday about a half-mile into Manana Trail, which is also known as Waimano Falls.

The medical examiner’s office has identified the man as Michael Almerol of Ewa Beach.

Almerol’s hiking companion and witnesses called 911 after the collapse. He was taken to Pali Momi Medical Center where he later died.

His cause of death has not been determined. An autopsy will be performed Tuesday.

“A lot of folks do the trail because of the beautiful waterfall back there. It’s been raining. That’s why people are going up,” said Marcus Griego of 808 Caveman Hiking.

Griego rates Manana Trail’s difficulty level as intermediate, but says it can be rough for those who aren’t prepared.

“The trail is well maintained. It’s a Na Ala Hele trail, so it’s a state trail. When it’s muddy, it can be a little bit more advanced, because you might need shoe spikes,” he said.

But one part of the trail is challenging for nearly everyone. Hikers call it “Cardiac Hill.”

“It’s a series of roots, really steep. You’re talking about at least a 45-degree or maybe higher incline,” said Patrick Clark, a visitor from Arizona, who heard about the trail from local friends. “You’re standing at the bottom like, man, how am I going to do this?”

“I’ve seen people get dizzy, and then they’ve got to sit down and relax,” Griego said. “(It’s called) Cardiac Hill because it’s steep, it’s hard, and kind of long as well, and you really can’t get around it.”

Griego says hikers should have good cardiovascular endurance before attempting intermediate or advanced hikes.

Always wear proper footwear, research the trail you want to hike, and bring plenty of water.

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