Teen Skier Builds Snowcave and Survives Two Nights In the Cold

I love these kinds of stories and just wanted to pass on something on a positive note for the weekend. Click here to read about Nicholas Joy’s two nights out. This is the story of a 17 year old boy who was skiing with his dad.  Nicholas decided he wanted to ski a different trail back on their last run and wound up getting lost.  He didn’t have a cell phone, but he did have the most important thing you can have in that situation:  knowledge.  And he kept his head on straight, which is another trait that will help you live through a situation like this. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
The 17-year-old boy, who skied out of bounds off the Binder trail just after noon on Sunday, built a snow cave late that day when he realized he was lost. According to Maine Warden Service Lt. Kevin Adam, Joy hunkered down in the cave to stay warm, and drank fresh water from the nearby Carrabassett Stream to remain hydrated.
It doesn’t say in this article, but on the news broadcast I watched he said he got the idea by watching survival shows on T.V.  I’m guessing Dual Survivor or something like that.  Imagine that!  A show on T.V. gave this young man the knowledge – or at least the idea – to build a snow cave and survive two nights alone in the Maine wilderness in 20 degree weather.  No mean feat, I can assure you. On that happy note I hope you all have a great weekend. Questions?  Comments? Sound off below!

-Jarhead Survivor


If you’re the Facebook type you might want to check out the action on our new Facebook page.  I just posted a great video about Maine and some missing scallop guts.  Hilarious, but not really appropriate for the blog.  We’re much looser on FB!
11 comments… add one
  • Jason March 8, 2013, 9:27 am

    One thing I found interesting in the article is they mentioned that he did not have his cell phone which, I thought was an important point. If he had not learned even the most basic survival skills as he did, he would probably would have died from panic.

    The cell phone can be a good tool but it can fail & the total dependence upon it isn’t good, like a GPS. You always need alternatives.

    Next, he is 17 & attributes his survival knowledge from watching a survival show. That tells me 2 things – there is probably a lot of interest from today’s youth to learn these skills. Two, why didn’t his parents go over a simple plan for getting lost or injured, well before he started skiing alone? I started things like that (bit by bit & age appropriate) when my kids were very little.

    Seems like many parents today let kids figure these things out themselves, if at all.

  • Calamity Jane March 8, 2013, 10:25 am

    I heard about him out here in Iowa. It sounded like he handled himself admirably.

  • JL March 8, 2013, 11:38 am

    He did such a great job! These are the things we want to teach our kids.

  • Pineslayer March 8, 2013, 10:49 pm

    Great story. My daughter and I watch certain shows as late night fodder. Survivor Man and Dual Survivor are 2 of the decent ones. It really is amazing how much she absorbs. My focus during these shows is keeping your composure and staying positive. training is always a little here in there. A little every day. We are working on routes to meet up should we be separated and ways to move stealthily and be able to spot each other. Glad that kid had some idea about how to react. He will think twice about not having a few items on him next time.

    • Jason March 9, 2013, 1:43 pm

      The one thing, among many, I learned from my dad was that he could make anything a learning environment & very interesting. As an example, he could tell you how a sheet metal screw was manufactured, why it was invented & keep you engaged with the most minute details as mundane as that subject could appear to be.

      He was an engineer, a think tank guy & an inventor who never, ever got discouraged. When it came to me & my kids, I adopted much of that same style & always made a game of learning & how to apply certain things. I figured since it made such an indelible imprint on me, it would do the same with the kids & it did.

      I never treat anything as doom & gloom rather, opportunities to learn, raise your own bar & find interest in most everything.

  • D'ja'c March 9, 2013, 8:05 pm

    Hey JH, Wondered if you caught this story. I can just picture this young guy. Zoned in, skiing, boarding… Out there. Kind of like catching that ultimate wave . All of the sudden… O-oh … Lost… Panic? No! Fall back on training. S.T.O.P.! Build a snow cave. Wait for help. Survive. Sell story to pay for $15000 search and rescue.

    • Jason March 10, 2013, 1:32 pm

      This may sound naive but I didn’t know they charged you for search & rescue. I always thought it was part of the tax dollars to support these entities.

      Call a cop because you have an intruder on your property, they come & arrest them or scare them away & 2 weeks later you receive a bill. Now that’s funny or the shape of things to come!

      • Pineslayer March 10, 2013, 3:56 pm

        Jason, here in CO when you buy a fishing license or hunting license there is a dollar surcharge that covers you should you need help. I think that it applies to all things back country that you pay for. Don’t know about ski lift fees. It always pays to have a current fishing/small game license.

        • D'ja'c March 10, 2013, 6:26 pm

          • Jarhead Survivor March 10, 2013, 6:31 pm

            I think I read somewhere that the boy isn’t getting charged for the rescue. Jason, I think they started doing this because people were doing ridiculous things like hiking Mt Katahdin and then calling the forest rangers for a helicopter because they were too tired to walk out. There were many instances of crazy things like that happening.

            When I broke my ankle on the Appalachian Trail years ago I was worried that I was going to be charged for the rescue. A lot of good folks showed up to bail my ass out that’s for sure. When I asked the ranger about it he said, “Naw. Your’s is a legitimate emergency. We only charge for those who are stupid.”

  • irishdutchuncle March 10, 2013, 10:26 pm

    glad this story had a happy ending.


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