A U.S. teen was found alive after being lost in the Alps for nearly 48 hours.
Nineteen-year-old Mark Doose, who is a student at Switzerland’s technical school, EPFL, had been skiing in the Swiss Alps at the Les Diablerets resort when he disappeared on Sunday. After a long search, authorities were finally able to locate him.
Doose was taken by helicpoter to a hospital in Zweisimmen, near Bern, to be treated for non-life threatening injuries. Speaking from his hospital bed, he explained the circumstances that left him lost in the freezing temperatures.
“I started following the supports for the chair-lift… and it started to snow pretty hard, and I just ended up in this ravine,” he said, adding that he had broken one of his skis.
“The skier was relatively well-equipped when it came to clothing, but had no working means of communication and none of the vital material needed when skiing off-piste,” police explained.
“I tried to keep moving and tried to stay warm,” Doose continued. About 24 hours in, he decided to build an embankment so that he could try and sleep, according to Reuters. He managed to sleep for about six hours before he started his journey again.
“I slept about six hours and then crossed three very small ponds, the third one was up to my neck,” he said.
Because the ravine ended with a steep waterfall, the teen had to stop and hope that someone would eventually find him.
“There was no way down it. I was able to climb up one of the banks on the left side, and at that point I was close enough to start yelling. I probably spent four to five hours just sitting there yelling,” he said.
Doose said he knew he was going to make it out alive when a couple traveling down a nearby road were able to hear his cries for help.
“When they first answered me, it was just incredible. That was definitely pretty emotional. Then I knew I was going to get out.”
When rescuers finally found Doose on Tuesday afternoon, he was suffering from exhaustion and hypothermia and was buried up to his waist in snow.
“The man was found conscious, in a state of hypothermia and exhaustion, and stuck waist-deep in the thick blanket of snow,” a statement from the police read, according to the Associated Press.
The first rescuer to find Doose, Sylvain Crampe, told reporters that he was shocked that Doose was in such good condition. “I did a body check which allowed me to determine that he was in pretty good shape. I was very surprised.”
[Image via Wikimedia]