Hiker Survives on Moths, Melted Ice
Spends 144 hours alone in the Sierra Nevada
Gregg Hein, 33, was on a solo hike in the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks when a loose boulder caused him to lose his footing and fall 150 feet. The 33-year-old broke his right leg in three places, with bones protruding from the skin and his foot “dangling,” according to USA Today.
Hein quickly evaluated his situation and knew that a tourniquet would ultimately result in amputation, so he stabilized his leg with a cord, his belt, and hiking poles and found refuge after scooting himself near a glacier, where he was able to melt enough ice to drink and find enough bugs to eat. On day four, Hein crawled nearly a mile so he would be more visible to possible rescue parties.
When helicopter crews spotted him on July 10, Hein was immediately transported to a hospital, where he underwent two surgeries to pin his leg bones back into place. It is expected that he will need two more surgeries and that a full recovery will take months.
“As soon as I can get back to trail running and hiking, I’ll be out there,” he told USA Today. As Hein has already proved, for an adventurous spirit, where there’s a will, there’s a way.