BOISE -- A Boise man became stranded for 22 hours in the snowy cold mountains of Idaho this week, but attributes his survival to being prepared.
Many people go to Reggie Sellers for the latest and greatest in snowmobiling. He and his family have owned High Mark Recreation in Boise, for 17 years. Sellers has been snowmobiling most of his life.
“I bought my first snowmobile when I was about 11-years-old,” said Sellers.
He’s been a scout master, regularly goes on snowmobiling trips and has been stranded in the snow a time or two before.
Earlier this week, Sellers and a friend embarked on a journey to the Big Creek area to get a snowmobile part to a customer who needed it.
The area is past Warm Lake and Sellers says it is about a five-hour journey from Donnelly.
“It was a lot of snow, a lot of downed trees everywhere,” said Sellers.
He said it had already snowed four to five feet in the backcountry and as the men started out on their journey they came across deep snow and downed trees.
“We were stuck a little bit, we had chainsaws and we were cutting a path a little bit we were very prepared we had shovels,” he said.
At one point the two men became separated.
“He had the shovel, the good shovel and I had the so-so shovel,” said Sellers.
Seller’s sled became stuck.
“I was stuck was under a tree that was spanning the road and I went under,” he said.
He couldn't dig his snowmobile out and time started to pass. Sellers would spend the next 22 hours alone in the wilderness.
“It was fairly hard to be in the mountains by myself for 22 hours,” he said. “I knew when you're shivering that's beginnings of hypothermia.”
He had been in similar situations before, and knew what to do. He had food, knew to build a snow shelter, and knew he couldn’t fall asleep.
He also came prepared. Sellers packed enough food and water, extra clothes and even avalanche gear.
“I had four pair of gloves three pairs of socks all wool all Gore-tex,” said Sellers.
He said he started to hallucinate because of sleep deprivation, thinking there was a mountain lion stalking him and even thinking he was visited by two mountain men.
After the 22 hours, Sellers decided to try and walk out and the friend he became separated with-spotted him.
But he says he was never afraid.
“I was never in any danger and so I kept my wits about me and everything was fine,” said Sellers.