Guy Builds Snow Cave to Survive 2 Nights in Canyon

Lawrence Orduno also has frozen Gatorade, lighter to thank
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2015 10:03 AM CST
Guy Builds Snow Cave to Survive 2 Nights in Canyon
A snow cat brings Lawrence Orduno back to Franklin Basin, in Logan Canyon, Utah, after rescuing him, Monday, Dec. 29, 2014.   (AP Photo/The Herald Journal, Eli Lucero)

Lawrence Orduno got separated from a friend while snowmobiling in a remote canyon in Utah Saturday, and then his snowmobile got stuck in the snow. But the 48-year-old managed to survive two nights on his own, he told the AP in an interview this week. First, he managed to find his cigarette lighter, which he originally thought he'd lost. He built a cave-like shelter out of snow, using the side covers from his snowmobile as wind shelters, and built a small fire using the lighter and wood he collected. He had left his food in his truck, 8 miles away, and had little to drink because his two bottles of Gatorade had frozen. But he was able to crush and free some of the ice, he says.

He couldn't dig the snowmobile out and was unable to flag down a machine he heard go by nearby at one point, and on the second night, he considered setting the entire snowmobile on fire. But by 10am the following morning, the search party that had been looking for him—their efforts hampered by heavy snow—finally found him. "My story is really just another story of a guy out in the snow getting stuck," he says. "I have no way of knowing all the people" who helped find him, he adds. "I just want to tell them all thank you for all of their help." (In Alaska, a man survived three days in sub-zero wilderness last month.)

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