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Stranded WA Hiker Survived for 2 Nights by Burning His Socks & Cash


"I feel pretty good."

Photo Credit: AP

A 66-year-old Tacoma, WA, snowshoer who had been missing on Mount Rainier since Saturday was finally located late Monday night. He said he stayed warm by running in place and burning the cash in his wallet before he was found by searchers late Monday, reports Komonews.com.

Yong Chun Kim had some fire starters with him and burned leaves to try to keep warm. He eventually moved on to burning personal items, including his socks and then $1 and $5 dollar bills in his wallet, according to the report.

And despite spending two nights in the freezing weather, medics agreed he was in great shape and needed little medical attention.

"I feel pretty good," Kim said while he was waiting for his family at the ranger station.

How did he cope? By taking cover under a tree at night and “dreaming of his wife and a nice hot sauna."

See the Komonews.com news update:

While he was leading a group in the Paradise area, Kim became separated after he fell down a slope.

Because Kim was the leader of his group, other snowshoers weren't able to accurately describe where he had slipped, National Park spokeswoman Lee Taylor said. Searchers had initially believed Kim fell in a different area, based on descriptions from the group, Taylor added.

Taylor said they located Kim in a "remote area with deep snow." Mount Rainier has seen temperatures in the teens, and eight inches of new snow fell in some places since Saturday, reports Komonews.com. Wind-blown snow drifts were as high as 30 inches in some areas.

Because poor weather conditions prevented a helicopter rescue, rescue crews were forced to use a Sno-Cat snow vehicle to reach Kim. Then "searchers had to snowshoe up the river valley to reach him, load him into a kind of a litter that could be slid across the snow, sort of a sled, bring him back down and get him back into the Sno-Cat and bring the Sno-Cat back out to the road," Taylor said.

"The Rangers, they're good people," he said. "I love them."

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