[Photos courtesy of Bluewood Facebook Page]
32-year-old Abe Cortina survived a frosty night on the slopes after falling into a five foot hole on his last run of the day at Ski Bluewood south of Dayton, Washington as reported by the Tri-City Herald.
Cortina later told search crews he fell into a hole, climbed out, and kept moving. He walked 4 miles and ended up outside ski resort boundaries before deciding to build a shelter from tree boughs in a thicket of trees. Temperatures dropped to 23 degrees overnight under a clear sky.
“He tried to make a fire, but his lighter was broken, probably in the fall. He heard our snowmobiles and the helicopter and started hiking up (the mountain).” -Ski Bluewood GM Kim Clark
Resort employees, volunteers, and various police departments were involved in the search including a life flight helicopter that searched the area from above. Search efforts were suspended overnight.
Cortina was found by a snowmobiler at 10a.m. Sunday, roughly 17 hours after getting lost. He was taken to the ski patrol headquarters at the top of the hill for medical examination and was okayed for release. From there, he rode his snowboard down to meet his waiting family and friends. Good on ya Abe!