When Eric LeMarque set out for a day of snowboarding in the Sierra Nevada mountains in March 2003, he had no idea that by night's end he would be lost and moving farther away from safety by the minute. The former Olympic hockey player veered off course along the 11,000-foot (3,353-meter) Mammoth Mountain.
Because he was out for a bit of recreation, LeMarque had little in the manner of supplies. He did, however, have his MP3 player with him. Recalling a scene from a movie, LeMarque used the radio signal from his MP3 player as a compass. During his ordeal, he faced frigid temperatures, and after falling into rushing water, almost careened down an 80-foot (24-meter) waterfall.
LeMarque's seven-day ordeal left him malnourished, exhausted and frostbitten with tissue damage to his lower extremities; both his feet and much of his legs had to be amputated.