A 17-year-old skier who wandered away from a Maine ski resort Sunday survived two nights in the wild by building himself a snow cave, according to the Maine Warden Service, who found him Tuesday.
Nicholas Joy, of Medford, Mass.
, was in "remarkably good shape" when a snowmobiler found him around 9 a.m. Tuesday, Lt. Kevin Adam, the search coordinator with the Warden Service, told the Boston Globe. Other than being cold and hungry, the teenager showed no signs of injury after a local hospital examined him.
Joy went with his father Sunday to ski the trails at Sugarloaf Mountain, in Carrabassett Valley, Maine.
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The two took a chairlift to the top of the hill for the last run of the day but took two separate trails down. They agreed to meet in the parking lot afterward to head home, but when Joy's father didn’t see his son, he called for help.
The boy reportedly skied off his trail by accident and went down the west side of the mountain, thinking it was a shortcut, before realizing he wouldn’t be able to make it back to the trail, Adam told the Globe. Joy spent two nights braving the elements, surrounding himself with branches in a snow cave he made for warmth, drinking water from a nearby stream.
A search team including Navy SEALs, U.S. Marines, Border Patrol officers, and a handful of volunteers scoured the area looking for Joy, calling off the search on Sunday and Monday nights because of bad weather. On Tuesday morning, Joy reportedly followed the sounds of a snowmobile and ran into Joseph Paul, of Warwick, Mass., who was searching for the missing teen.
"He wasn't too concerned," Paul told WHDH-TV of Joy. "He was a little cold and he got his feet wet, but he was in good condition."
Sugarloaf officials told the Associated Press that one or two skiers are reported missing most winters. They sometimes spend a night outside before being found.
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