Usually when people get lost in the backcountry without the proper gear to spend the night, chances of survival plummet after the first 24 hours of being lost. One snowboarder by the name of Oliver Smith has debunked that perception after spending two nights in the Mt. Baker Ski Area backcountry, enduring heavy snowfall, low temperatures, and the mental anguish that comes with being lost in the woods for two nights reports the Bellingham Herald.
Smith originally became lost after parting ways from his partner near the northern boundary of the Mt. Baker Ski Area at roughly 10 a.m. this past Friday. However, after he failed to return to his car, his partner alerted search and rescue personnel to the situation and a rescue effort was mobilized around 4:30 p.m. Unfortunately, the effort was hampered by darkness and up to 14 inches of snowfall.
Smith rode outside the ski area boundary and into a drainage. After failing to find a trail or tracks, he dug in for the evening. Thankfully, Smith had the knowhow to construct a shelter using his board and tree limbs. The search resumed Saturday but with 7 more inches of snow, the search operation proved futile once again. At this point, Smith’s morale began to plummet. Looking back at the ordeal, Smith told a Seattle based TV station, KING 5 that, “It really started to get to me the second night when it was getting dark out.”
Luckily, the third day of searching proved to be the lucky one as rescue personnel discovered Smith after finding footprints in the snow. He was scared, hypothermic, but alive. Another night in the backcountry could have been fatal.
*If you don’t know, don’t go.
Find The Entire Bellingham Herald Article Here: Snowboarder survives 2 nights lost near Mt. Baker Ski Area