Planning to hike Diamond Head? Ditch the tux and the heels, offi - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Planning to hike Diamond Head? Ditch the tux and the heels, officials say

As temperatures rise, the Honolulu Fire Department encourages hikers on Diamond Head Summit Trail to come prepared. (Image: Hawaii News Now) As temperatures rise, the Honolulu Fire Department encourages hikers on Diamond Head Summit Trail to come prepared. (Image: Hawaii News Now)
Hikers will often wear jeans and dresses when climbing to the summit of Diamond Head Trail. (Image: Hawaii News Now) Hikers will often wear jeans and dresses when climbing to the summit of Diamond Head Trail. (Image: Hawaii News Now)
Hikers climb the staircase, known as the 99, at Diamond Head Summit Trail. (Image: Hawaii News Now) Hikers climb the staircase, known as the 99, at Diamond Head Summit Trail. (Image: Hawaii News Now)
Hikers wearing flip flops and jeans are a common sight at Diamond Head Summit Trail (Image: Hawaii News Now) Hikers wearing flip flops and jeans are a common sight at Diamond Head Summit Trail (Image: Hawaii News Now)
DIAMOND HEAD, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Diamond Head Summit Trail is one of the most popular destinations on Oahu, especially in summer months.

It's also one of the Honolulu Fire Department’s top spots for rescues — and that's partly because people don't prepare. 

Hikers get dehydrated, have heat spells and injure themselves almost every week, park officials say. The trail averages 53 air rescues a year.

“Nobody should be doing this in heels,” Fire Capt. Scot Seguirant said.

That should be obvious, right?

Well, the trail is frequented by visitors wearing heels, flip flops, jeans, dresses and even suits, according to Emily Hauck, the park’s ranger.

“It’s often underestimated,” Hauck said, about the hike. “People are often inappropriately dressed.”

Hauck said that in the past week, she's already seen four air rescues. 

On the state's website for Diamond Head, the .8-mile hike to the top of the summit is described as steep and strenuous. There’s about 200 stairs that hikers can climb, but that doesn’t stop some from wearing restricting clothes.

Lora Zahnd and her husband wore flip flops up to the summit. They are visiting from Ocala, Fla., and were dared by friends to do the hike.

“We would wear hiking shoes or tennis shoes,” Zahnd said, when asked if she would do anything differently. She said that she was worried her slippers would catch on the rocks.

Hauck has seen worse.

“I’ve seen anything from long, flowing, almost ball gown dresses to really, really tall high heels,” she said. “It’s a huge problem."

Just the other week, she had to convince a group from Yale University to hike in something other than their tuxedos.

“It’s not an ideal place to wear a three-piece suit,” Hauck said.  

Seguirant reported that there have been 59 rescues from January 2017 to February 2018.

“That’s actually our most frequent area to go to rescues,” he said. Sequirant believes that the majority of calls are for visitors living outside the state.

He advises people to make sure they are wearing proper shoes, clothes and to bring accessories like hats and sunglasses.

The fire department also advises hikers to hydrate ahead of time, as well as on the trail, to prevent dehydration and heat stroke. Bringing a cellphone and hiking with a buddy protects everyone in the group.

Seguirant said that it’s also important to check weather conditions before the hike. The Honolulu Fire Department tends to do more rescues when it’s raining, when slips and falls are more common.

“Prepare yourself correctly, don’t take it for granted,” he said. “Know your limitation.”

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