Father of 2 Survives 24 Hours Lost in Colorado Ski Trails

By ABC News

Mar 6, 2014 5:57pm

An Ohio man visiting the ski slopes of Colorado with his family spent nearly 24 hours lost on the slopes and traveled almost 52 miles before being found alive.

“The first thing I said was, ‘Water, I haven’t had water in a long time,’” skier Alex Maginnis told ABC News affiliate WCPO-TV in Cincinnati.

Maginnis, an electrical engineer, was visiting the Durango Mountain Resort, in Durango, Colo., with his wife, Jen, and young son and daughter, last Friday morning when he ventured off on his own.

“I just kind of found myself kind of in a little more desolate area,” Maginnis told WCPO.  “And then as I looked a little more. I realized no, I don’t see any tracks, no trail signs, there is nothing out here that I recognize.”

Traveling with only three protein bars and a half-a-bottle of water in freezing temperatures, Maginnis continued skiing as sunset struck, mainly, he told WCPO, to stay warm.

He had no compass but did have his cellphone, which he used to keep in touch via text messages with his wife, who was waiting for him back at the resort. “I was like, ‘Oh, my God, where are you?’” Jen Maginnis told WCPO.

As Maginnis got lost deeper in to the trails overnight, he lost cellphone service, according to the Durango Herald newspaper. It was not until early Saturday morning that Maginnis received a final glimmer of hope in the form of a buzz from his cellphone.

“Then, I felt a little buzz in my pocket and saw the text from my wife and [rescuers]. I still wasn’t getting bars, but tried to respond, saying, ‘This is where I am. I’m on the Hermosa Creek Trail,’” Maginnis told the newspaper. “By some miracle I had one little bar of service, and it looked like it had sent, and then my battery just died for good.”

Rescuers soon reached Maginnis and gave him the water he requested, followed by a reunion with his family.

“It was awesome,” daughter Madeline told WCPO.

“It was just the best feeling in the whole world,” his wife said.

The Maginnis family has not responded to ABCNews.com’s requests for comment.

 

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