Rescued snowmobiler tells story of survival - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Rescued snowmobiler tells story of survival

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Barry Sadler Barry Sadler
MULLAN, Idaho -

"I'm not a quitter," says Barry Sadler, 54, as he eats oatmeal in a local restaurant in downtown Mullan. "But I knew there was no way I was coming out of there."

Sadler eats breakfast with his wife, both of them can't believe that it was only 24 hours ago that Sadler was being carried out of the mountains on Montana where he'd spent two days lost and waiting to die.

Sunday afternoon, Sadler and a few friends left on snowmobiles in Mullan to hit the trails. They had gone riding during a snow storm and quickly got disoriented. Sadler became separated from the pack and took one wrong turn, he says it all went downhill from there, literally.

"The snow gave way, and I went down. It was so steep, just a vertical shoot that took me 3,000 feet all the way to the bottom," says Sadler.

Sadler found himself lying down in a creek with his snowmobile on top of him. A professional body builder and MMA fighter, Sadler easily pushed the vehicle off of him. Only dressed in light clothes, drenched, and lost with no food or water Sadler gave himself four hours before he was dead.

"I pulled the sled out of the ravine and took off all the panels," says Sadler. "I thought maybe I could warm my hands, you know, just enough that way I could feel my hands and maybe find a way out."

Using the exhaust as his only heat source, Sadler huddled around it, using it in 15 minute increments until it ran out of gas on Tuesday.

"It was the worst, freezing to death. It's not quick, it's drawn out, and you're shaking so violently it hurts," says Sadler.

On Tuesday night around 10 PM, Sadler says the snowmobile ran out of gas, and that is when he gave up any sort of hope. He says it never crossed his mind that someone would come and find him, unaware that at that time a number of people along with multiple law enforcement agencies had been searching for him for more than a day. When he finally fell asleep, he was amazed at what happened next.

"These guys shook me, I wake up and all I see are two lights and I thought they were angels," says Sadler. "And I was kind of out of it and the only thing I asked was 'what are you guys doing here?'"

Sadler never thought he would have breakfast again with his wife, and he's thrilled with the second chance.

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