Man reveals the staggering lengths he went to to survive after being trapped on a mountain for a week with no food
We've all, at some point, wondered how we'd fare if we were lost in the wilderness and all alone. But, thankfully, most of us will never know if we have what it takes to survive. Matthew Matheny from Warren, Ohio, on the other hand, knows exactly the staggering lengths one must go to to cling to life, as he has just been found after almost a week of being trapped by himself on Mount St. Helens.
Alarm bells were raised when Matthew disappeared roughly a week ago after going to hike the famous southwest Washington mountain located in Skamania County. Borrowing a car to drive to a Blue Lake Trail on south-west side of the active stratovolcano in Washington last Thursday, the 40-year-old never returned from his hike and friends alerted police to the fact that he was missing.
A sheriff’s deputy found his Subaru Outback on Saturday and daily searches, involving sniffer dogs, helicopters and a drone, ensued. But, Matthew - who was unfamiliar with the area - was nowhere to be found. After hours of searching, rescuers narrowed their search area down to a one square mile zone based on phone signals as well as a computer model, with the aim to predict his movements.
Thankfully, he was finally found alive about three miles away from the Subaru by a Skamania County-based rescue crew on Wednesday and airlifted to a Vancouver hospital. After being treated mostly for dehydration, a hospital spokesman confirmed that he was in satisfactory condition, meaning his vital signs were good and that he was awake and alert. In addition, the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office said he was talking and in good condition.
Paul Pepper, a member of the 30 search-and-rescue personnel rescue team, also gave an idea of how exactly he became lost, stating: "He was in the free forest at this point. He lost the trail, he fell down the steep back."
However, after he was deemed in good health, terrifying details about his time on the mountain emerged. Surviving for a week on Mount St. Helens without any food, the 40-year old had been forced to pick berries and survive on the limited fluids they gave him. Matthew - who hadn't seen another human being in about a week - also reportedly claimed that he had been chased by bees as he moved about the mountain and had eventually resorted to killing and eating them.
According to The Daily News of Longview, Charlie Rosenzweig, chief criminal deputy for Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office, named it "extremely unusual" that someone would survive such an ordeal.
"He knew it was a tough situation," his mother Linda Matheny, who described him as "a former Boy Scout who is interested in fitness and nutrition with a sense of humour" also said. "But everyone who has encountered him has told us it's remarkable the condition he's in."
Escatic that she finally had her son back after a week of worry Linda added: "We could not believe when we walked in here, he's sitting up in bed, getting fluids, talking to us. We got Matt back."