Friends remember hiker who died after fall from dangerous section of Olomana Trail

Loved ones remember fallen hiker at Olamana Trail as positive light in Indianapolis’ volleyball community.
Published: Apr. 9, 2022 at 6:19 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 9, 2022 at 6:20 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Friends are remembering a hiker who died after falling from a treacherous section of Olomana Trail as a positive light in Indianapolis’ volleyball community.

The city Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the hiker as Jason Gardellis, of Indianapolis.

Steven Comar said Gardellis was passionate about volleyball.

“I’m still processing — not seeing him anymore,” said Comar. “Just not being able to play with him, see him on the courts, play against him. Just the happiness that he brings when you’re on the courts with him.”

He adds Gardellis trained the juniors team at iBeach 31 and was a tournament director.

“Always made friends with anybody that’s on the court,” said Comar. “Just help better the sport, better you as a person.”

Comar said Gardellis came to Hawaii about a month ago for a work-from-home experience.

“He always sent like Snapchat videos and things when he’s out watching the sunset or playing volleyball with new people that he’s made out there,” Comar said.

Gardellis was killed Wednesday after falling 250 feet near the third peak of Olomana Trail.

“It’s going to be difficult going into the summer and knowing that he’s not going to be at the courts.”

Isaac Eickmann of Kailua said he hiked the trail before.

“The craziest part is going down,” Eickmann said. “The second one is like you actually have to repel down it with ropes so it’s very steep.”

He’s aware of the risks, but says he stays focused and watches where he steps.

“But if you start getting distracted, like looking off the mountain, or trying to catch your hat you could get in trouble and be fatal,” said Eickmann.

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