How's this for a horror story? A solo German snowboarder was taking a
ski lift down a mountain in the Hochzillertal resort area of the
Austrian Alps at 4:00 PM when, while he was at 10 meters above the
ground, it was shut down for the day.
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Podolsky, a 22-year-old from Munich, didn't have a mobile phone, no one
could hear him yell and he was facing temperatures of 0°F. "I thought
about jumping down but then I'd have probably broken both legs and
would have frozen to death," the brave young man told reporters.
As the hours dragged on and the temperature continued dropping,
Podolsky tried to stave off hypothermia by tensing his muscles and
keeping his hands in his armpits, but he couldn't stay warm -- and he
kept falling asleep. Finally, he thought to burn the contents of his
wallet with his cigarette lighter for just a little extra heat. Once
the napkins, bills and business cards were gone, he had no choice but
to burn cash.
He burned some 100 euros, and when he was down to his very last 20 euro
note, a snowcat driver spotted him at last and sent for help. It was
10:30 PM when Podolsky was rescued and taken to the hospital for
immediate hypothermia treatment. Spiegel Online
reports, "He said he may sue the lift operator for failing to check the
lift after shutting it down. But a spokesman for the company said it
wasn't meant for downward trips, and that Podolsky must have ignored
warning signs and barriers to get on."