It was a cold night in January, when he awoke covered in snow, his board broken and hanging from his left foot, the binding from his right still securely strapped to hit now numb, right foot It was now nearing Zero degrees Fahrenheit he thought, and not a soul was anywhere to be found. Zane Farrell had last seen another creature what he guessed was about six hours ago. As far as he knew he was about thirty miles north of Bull Creek, at the local ski area- Bull Mountain.
Unsure of his exact location, cold and growing weary he started his tedious climb up what he thought was the northern side of the peak, he was unsure how he got to where he was, but his best guess was that when he was the origin of a small avalanche. His last memory before his startling awakening in his would be snowy grave was snowboarding. It had been just after lunch and he thought he would try some new terrain. He laced up his snowshoes, and proceeded to climb to the highest point of the mountain.
He arrived at his first destination after about an hour of hiking. After a short while he figured he had looked over his new found haven enough, he was ready. He started down the grade with a small arsenal, consisting of a shovel, about ten granola bars, two bottles of power-ade, his snowshoes, and what was left in his hydration bladder in his pack. After descending about two hundred feet he came into the clearing he was hoping to find, it was as smooth as silk, twenty inches of fresh powder under his board. Up ahead he say a small but formidable drop off on the mountain, he knew if he was going to escape this with his dignity he was going to have to work some magic, to his success. The drop was approximately eighteen feet, but he was ready for it, he landed perfectly, it was like a dream the poof of snow exploding out from his impact, and the gentle flakes hitting his face. As he continued down the slope he did not realize that his gentle landing had severely weakened the physical structure of the mountain’s blanket, and that any moment he could bring the mass down upon himself at impossible speeds.
Then it happened, he turned too sharply, caught his heel edge and fell onto his backside. He slowly got up and regained his balance, but it was too late. What he saw was like being attacked by the vengeful clouds of the gods. He turned downhill and jumped up enough to get started moving again he started speeding down the mass of snow, he was afraid, amazed at the speed he had achieved, never before had he been so full of adrenaline. It was a curse from the gods, he was sure he was going to die. By now he could feel the air forced into him by the wall, it was upon him. He looked forward and saw something big, a tree, frozen, a snow ghost. He hit it and was out, unconscious and at the whim of the towering wall of ice chasing him.
After hiking for a while his head began to hurt and he felt the point and it was wet. He looked at his hand in the moonlight, crimson, he was injured more than he had thought, he was not losing blood fast but it was still enough to make him feel rather sick to his stomach. Along with that he was hungry again and cold. Searching through his pack Zane found a cigarette lighter and a trail map, “won’t be needing this anymore he thought.” He found some semi-dry wood under a huge cedar tree took off his gloves and tried to make a fire. After many attempts to keep the flame light he finally succeeded. Fumbling with numb fingers through his pack at last he found the sandwich bag he had stashed in there that morning. Granola bars and one of the frozen power-ade drinks, he pulled them out and set them next to the growing fire. After they thawed he ate and drank as if he had not eaten in days. But he would need the energy for tomorrow. He dug a hole in the snow next to the fire and slept, it was not warm, but it would do, he knew that he would be warmer under the snow than not, because snow acts as an insulator.
He woke before daybreak, shivering, he looked at the fire to discover frozen ash. Not good he thought, it was time to get going, he needed to get somewhere today, hopefully he could find his way to civilization. After about an hour he found the creek bed, now all he ah to do was follow it, it would lead him to life, eventually.
After following the creek bed for about an hour, he found a cabin, it seemed to be empty but he knocked anyways. No answer, he grabbed the knob, locked. He looked around for any sign of an owner but came up empty. He backed away from the door and attempted to pull some James Bond moves out of his weak and tired body. A pathetic attempt at kicking the door left his foot pulsing. He needed to try something different; he tried a shoulder, nothing. Then he had an epiphany, he went back behind the cabin and grabbed a large round of wood, this would work for a battering ram. He tried it, and somewhat surprised he was inside. He ransacked the place, but careful not to break anything. He was desperate and hungry, but knew he was pushing his luck in the first place. He found some canned food, matches, and a stack of old newspapers. He looked at the one on top, shocked he dropped it, it was not old, it was from yesterday and he was on the front. They were looking for him. He knew if he stayed here he would be safe.
He started a fire, maybe they would see the smoke he thought. He cooked the food he had found, spaghetti-o’s and some chili. It would be better than granola bars. He ate well, finished two cans of chili and three spaghetti-o’s. After he had finished eating he decided that he had better get some rest, he went to bed in the small cot he found in the corner. He slept well in the warmth of the cabin, but awoke to the sound of a gasoline engine. Startled he looked around and saw a woman rekindling the fire. She saw him looking at her and told him he was ok, and that when he was ready her husband would take him back to town. She had already made coffee and some pancakes, and told him he was more than welcome to have some.
After a while of talking he decided it was time to go home, after apologizing for the broken door, and the food he ate the night before, she insisted that it was no problem and that they were very glad to have helped. She walked out the door to get her husband.
After fumbling through his wallet, he pulled out a fifty and put it on the table, then walked out to find a snowmobile waiting for him.
It was a long cold ride, but he was grateful, when they got to town he insisted that it was far enough and thanked the man with a handshake. Zane Farrell had never been happier to see that small mountain town.