Entries in Skier (3)


Lost Teenage Skier Credits Reality TV Survival Skills

Maine Warden Service(BOSTON) -- The teenage skier who survived two freezing nights alone in the woods said he used skills he learned from reality television to survive the snow and blistering winds.

Nicholas Joy, 17, of Medford, Mass., was found at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, three days after he disappeared from Sugarloaf Ski Resort in Maine on Sunday afternoon.

The teen was found on the Caribou Pond Road snowmobile trail, on the west side of the mountain, by Warwick, Mass., fire captain Joel Paul said.  Joy was about four miles from a road and two miles from Sugarloaf Mountain.

“He was hungry.  I gave him some peanuts and crackers I had in my snowmobile,” Paul told ABC News affiliate WCVB.  “He said he watched a survival show on TV and basically took branches and snow and made himself a shelter and slept under the shelter.”

Joy, a senior at Medford High School, is expected to be released from the hospital later Wednesday and his mother, Donna, is understandably ecstatic her son is safe.

“He said ‘I’m so glad to see you,’ and I said the same thing,” she told WCVB after visiting her son at Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, Maine, on Tuesday.

Joy’s ordeal began when he got separated from his father while skiing Sunday afternoon.  Blinded by snow and strong winds, Joy says he kicked into survival mode, building a cave and covering his body with twigs and leaves.  During the day, he drank water from nearby streams and followed the faint remains of snowshoe tracks to the road where he was eventually found by Paul.

“I turned the news on to see what the weather was like, to go snowmobiling, and I heard about Nicholas,” Paul told ABC News.  “My grandfather and I used to hike up there a lot, so I knew the trail well and figured I could help out.”

Joy was walking along the snowmobile trail when Paul spotted the teenager waving him down.

“I’m glad to see somebody,” Joy told Paul when he was first rescued.

Paul and the EMTs were surprised at how good Joy looked after being stuck in freezing temperatures, which dipped down into the low teens, and snowy conditions.

“I thought, like most everybody, that he was hurt, broke a leg or something like that.  He was cold but for being in the woods for two days, he was in great shape,” said Paul.

The first thing Joy asked for after being transported to the hospital was a cheeseburger.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Washington Skier Buried Alive in Avalanche Saved by Quick Thinking

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A quick-thinking 20-year-old Washington skier who was buried beneath an avalanche for up to 15 minutes managed to keep breathing until rescuers arrived by scooping snow away from her mouth.

Emily Anderson was skiing with a group at Crystal Mountain in Enumclaw, Wash., on Monday when more than 3 feet of snow cut loose, triggering an avalanche.  She says when she looked down she saw the snow moving strangely beneath her.

"I saw, like, a crack, and, you know, you hear a little, a little pop when it starts to go.  I realized that it was an avalanche and it just pushed me into a tree.  And, all of a sudden, was encased and I couldn't move," Anderson told ABC's Good Morning America.

When she became buried, her first thought, above everything else, was how to breathe.  Anderson's left hand could move just enough to get the snow away from her mouth.

"My head was down, facing down, a little bit and so I, like, had to kind of scoop the snow away.  I breathed in snow a little bit -- that was scary," she said.  "I was kind of in a sitting position, and my right arm was stuck out…. to my side … [I] couldn't move it."

Then a second wave hit her -- a wave of fear that she might not be found.

"I felt very alone and I felt, you know, like -- this could be it!" she said.

During Anderson's ordeal, she was screaming, but buried under the snow, no one could hear her.

Luckily, a friend saw it happen and called for help.  The ski patrol was there within minutes and began poking through the snow with long poles trying to find her.

Newman, a 4-year-old avalanche rescue dog, was there, too.

"Avalanche dogs are the best way to find somebody like Emily.  This woman is lucky.  The avalanche statistics say that once you're buried without a trace to the surface, your chance of surviving that -- statistically -- is one out of three," Crystal Mountain Ski Patrol Director Paul Baugher said.

Fifteen minutes later, she felt the poles poking through.  They found her, and dug her out.

"I'm very lucky!  Everything about it went my way -- that's for sure," Anderson said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Woman Buried Alive in Avalanche Rescued by Fellow Skiers

Hemera/Thinkstock(CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN, Wash.) -- An experienced skier was buried alive on Crystal Mountain in Washington this week when more than 3 feet of snow triggered an avalanche in the area where she was skiing.

Emily Anderson was buried beneath the avalanche for up to 15 minutes, according to Crystal Mountain ski patrol director Paul Baugher.

Baugher said that the area had received 40 inches of snow in about 35 hours Sunday and Monday, and when a small section of terrain was opened to expert skiers, dozens of ski patrols and avalanche control staff were sent to the site.

"In a big storm like this we have a little place, a little pocket like this ... and this person and her party triggered this small little pocket in this innocuous place," Baugher said.

"Because of a lot of good things, you had not only the ski patrol, which was out there doing avalanche control work, but they were pre-positioned with equipment. We always watch while the first skiing gets done ... just in case there's an 'oops,' because you can never get the risk to zero."

When Anderson was overtaken by the rushing snow, her fellow skiers realized she was missing and used a cell phone to call the ski patrol dispatcher, a phone number they had saved before embarking on their adventure.

Within five minutes a ski patrol member showed up to assist the skiers in searching for their friend, Baugher said.

Baugher said that ski patrol members were specially trained in where to look for survivors of an avalanche immediately after it occurs. The patrol member instructed Anderson's friends in how to use their poles to search specific areas for signs of her.

"We had a guy on the scene in five minutes, and he was able to organize the good inbound powder skiers, who had collapsible probe poles, and they figured out where to start probing, and then, boom, this gal was found," Baugher said. "She spent maybe 10 to 15 minutes under the snow. She came out just great, she really did."

Anderson was not carrying an avalanche beacon with her at the time, although members of her party were.

Two other skiers were partially buried in the avalanche but were able to free themselves, Baugher said.

Anderson skied down the mountain herself after her ordeal.

"It was a great outcome because we were prepared and the guys that ski this terrain were prepared too. They carried all the right equipment and kept everyone in sight, and they knew the number. It was a great combination," Baugher said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio