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Survival story US skier found after days lost in snow

A skier who was lost for two days in the snow in the Swiss Alps describes his ordeal. (RTS/swissinfo.ch) 

Mark Doose, a student of biotechnology at Lausanne’s Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) , was skiing in Isenau in the Diableret region of canton Vaud when he lost his way in a snow storm.

The 19-year-old from Chicago had tried to follow the ski lift pylons down the mountainside, but the slope became too steep and he ended up falling 35 metres into a ravine, carved out by a river.

He realised he had to keep moving if he was going to survive in sub-zero temperatures, and crossed the river three times, sometimes with water up to his neck, in his search for a way out. 

Doose allowed himself to sleep for only a couple of hours during his two-day odyssey. On Sunday night, he made a cave within a snow-covered cliff. 

The former scout  eventually managed to climb out of the ravine and shouted for help for around 5 hours. Passers-by heard him and alerted the police, who called  the helicopter rescue service.

Doose was taken to a hospital in the Bernese Alps with mild hypothermia.