The Today Show

8:46 a.m. on December 10, 2012 (EST)
940 reviewer rep
779 forum posts

I'm watching the Today Show now and the next story is about a woman who was stranded in the wilderness for a week. She survived on eating snow and tomatoes.

More to come...............

9:16 a.m. on December 10, 2012 (EST)
940 reviewer rep
779 forum posts

This story took place over 6 days in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Paula Lane and her boyfriend were 4 wheeling when their jeep became stuck in a snow drift. They stayed in the vehicle overnight and the next morning the BF hiked out to get help but he later died. After a few days she set out towards the highway and eventually found the body of her BF. She was located by her brother who was driving a front end loader in the deep snow. She survived on a bag of green tomatoes and by taking shelter in the hollow of a tree. She also insulated her socks using paper napkins and Kleenex. They did not have cell service when they became stuck. Rescuers were also hampered by a storm.

11:20 a.m. on December 10, 2012 (EST)
25 reviewer rep
3,167 forum posts

This story unfolded in my backyard.  I do not understand why the boy friend could not make it 6 miles down the road they came up back to the highway.  The Burnside Lake Road is not that steep and easy to follow.

There may be something going on in this story that is not obvious.

They wanted to "try out their new 1989 Jeep with four-wheel drive."  The only thing that happens with 4wd is you stuck in worse places.  They drove around a locked gate and one of them paid the ultimate price.  Newbies without a lick of sense.  90 percent of the people on this forum would have used better judgement and walked out in good weather after a couple of nights in the truck.


12:21 p.m. on December 10, 2012 (EST)
940 reviewer rep
779 forum posts

I've had my share of "stuck" experiences when I lived in Colorado and it was always 4 wheeling.  I still 4 wheel now but I've learned from past experiences not to make the same misjudgments and I don't take the chances I used to.  

They mentioned he was 44, but, they didn't say what kind of shape he was in.  Maybe he had some health conditions?  

3:51 p.m. on December 10, 2012 (EST)
733 reviewer rep
1,378 forum posts

I lived in Reno for several years in the early 80's and had a much loved SWB Land Rover. My experiences on primitive tracks were usually with other Rover nuts. As ppine says, 4WD gets you into more places, but when you get stuck, you are going to be really stuck. Always carry extra food, water, and other survival gear. I always carried tools, a come along, a set of axles, fuel pump, plugs, distributor cap, points, etc., just in case.

5:29 p.m. on December 10, 2012 (EST)
5,546 reviewer rep
2,024 forum posts

most of the time, people who get stuck in the mud/snow with their cars were not planning to be walking around in the bad weather & aren't prepared for the rain, snow, or whatever got them stuck - wrong footwear, inadequate jackets, etc.  also, it's very easy to lose one's way or to get exhausted trying to get through deep snow. 

sad situation.  she is lucky to have survived. 

9:28 p.m. on December 10, 2012 (EST)
12 reviewer rep
848 forum posts

a pair of newbies out 4 wheeling with no equipment or essentials. what did they think - they were going around the corner for groceries? not a brain between them. she's lucky.

10:26 a.m. on December 11, 2012 (EST)
775 reviewer rep
2,162 forum posts

How very, very sad. I feel for her greatly. 

I foolishly haven't equipped my car yet with winter extra's, but doing so before heading off exploring is non-negotiable. 

10:35 a.m. on December 11, 2012 (EST)
15 reviewer rep
33 forum posts

I hiked up Burnside Rd last weekend to cut down my Christmas Tree and was following the tracks of the skip loader the brother commandeered to find his sister. Sad. And yeh, where there was not snow, there was gooshy deep mud. Hard to figure out how they drove around the gate.

10:37 a.m. on December 11, 2012 (EST)
25 reviewer rep
3,167 forum posts

If you drive in mountains in winter, put some sleeping bags, a shovel, chains  and other equipment in your truck in the fall and leave it there until spring.

I made a living driving on bad roads for 25 years and got stuck all the time.  Getting unstuck becomes the priority.  I had to walk out only once after a broken axle in CO at 11,500 feet.

Learn to use a jack, shovel, sand, fence posts and whatever else you have on hand.  If it looks soft, walk on it first.  If there is standing water, check to see how deep it is with a stick.  Pay attention to other people's tracks.  Learn when to park and walk.


10:58 p.m. on December 16, 2012 (EST)
1,387 reviewer rep
1,339 forum posts

I've worked on the muskeg in Alberta in the worst winters, and there are some basic rules. Rule # 1 is to assume you're going to get stuck and prepare for it. In one wireline company I worked for only one truck out of a dozen escaped being involved in a rollover, a collision or being dumped in a ditch. And we were driving loads of explosives, just to add some extra excitement! Everybody got stuck at least a few times.

Bring the gear every time - ppine mentioned loading your truck, but you should have a basic kit in your car, too, if you're thinking of driving anywhere in winter.  Another tip is to never drive with your fuel tank less than half full - if you get stuck or slide off the road at night at least you'll be able to stay warm until morning (or longer in warmer climates. Bring candles - a few can keep the chill off - and an old parka  and a pair of Sorels in the trunk can stop you from freezing to death.

A woman  got stuck on a back road in deep snow here a few years ago. She and her kids stayed alive for more than a week, living off chocolate bars and other snacks she had in the vehicle and by bundling up in the quilts she had in the back seat for naps. Since they lived in the country, they were dressed for winter, not for a drive to the supermarket in a city.

The Mounties showed up thinking the vehicle was abandoned and were quite startled when the woman got out and waved. Temperatures were down around -25 to -30° overnight.

11:55 a.m. on December 17, 2012 (EST)
25 reviewer rep
3,167 forum posts

As long as we are at it, please do not rely on GPS directions for roads off the main highways.  They do not differentiate the road hierarchy.  People get sent on wild goose chases on terrible roads that a computer records as a direct route.  We lose people in the Great Basin each year, because they don't have the sense to stay on the main roads in winter.  Some people don't even get found for a year or more.  Usually its hunters or ranchers that finally locate what is left of a tourist on holiday.

April 22, 2018
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

More Topics
This forum: Older: Newer: Hypothermia: Object Lessons
All forums: Older: Snow Shoeing / Winter Camping near New Jersey Newer: Elephant foot?