Tags: us | teen | found | alps

US Teen Found in Alps, Freezing But Alive, 48 Hours After Getting Lost

By    |   Thursday, 05 Feb 2015 05:01 PM

A U.S. teen was found 48 hours after he became lost while skiing in the Swiss Alps, buried in several feet of snow and suffering from hypothermia but otherwise doing well.

The 19-year-old, who has not been identified, was skiing Sunday near the Diablerets resort when police said he apparently decided to "free ride" back to the resort, AFP reported. "Free ride" denotes an aggressive style of skiing in backcountry or natural snow settings.

A statement to AFP said, “The man was found conscious, in a state of hypothermia and exhaustion, and stuck waist-deep in the thick blanket of snow.” It also said his survival was “miraculous.”

The teenager is a student at EPFL, a prominent technical school in the country, AFP said.

It is unclear whether the teen meant to go off-piste, a term used to describe leaving marked ski trails; AFP reported that the rescued skier told the media he hadn’t intended to free ride but became lost.

“I started following the supports for the chair-lift ... and it started to snow pretty hard, and I just ended up in this ravine," AFP quoted the teen from his hospital bed. He kept walking and realized his best chance of survival was to go down the ravine, but that included crossing a pond up to his neck. He slept Monday night by building an embankment.

When he reached the bottom of the ravine, though, he was met with a waterfall that stopped his progress, AFP said. He pulled himself up the sides and managed to call for help.

"I probably spent four to five hours just sitting there yelling," he told AFP, before he was heard by passersby on a road. “Then I knew I was going to get out.”

BBC said the U.S. teen hadn’t been reported missing right away because he didn’t have a phone or detection device on him, nor any proper equipment for off-piste skiing.

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A U.S. teen was found 48 hours after he became lost while skiing in the Swiss Alps, buried in several feet of snow and suffering from hypothermia but otherwise doing well.
us, teen, found, alps
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2015-01-05
Thursday, 05 Feb 2015 05:01 PM
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