Oregon Hiker Survives On Bugs And Spring Water


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What began as a one-day hiking trip to Mt. Adams, Washington's second highest mountain, ended up being a five night ordeal for an Oregon man, who had to eat ants, centipedes and even spiders, in order to survive.

As he often did on weekends, 27-year old Derek Mamoyac, an avid hiker, set out early on the morning of October 12th, for a quick day hike to the summit of Mt. Adams (pic below) and back. Though the weather conditions were not ideal, Derek thought he would be able to get up and back before they got too bad. However, a snowstorm forced him to turn back just 600ft shy of the 12,276 ft summit. As he began his descent, Derek's foot slipped over a fresh pack of snow and he tumbled about 1,000 ft down the mountain.

As a result of the fall, he broke his ankle and lost one of his water bottles. Unable to walk, he spent the next five days crawling on his hands and knees and sometimes even on his butt, as he tried to make his way down. He took short naps during the day when it was warmer, but did not dare to sleep at night because he was afraid of freezing to death. Instead, he kept moving all night.

His small supply of granola bars and the remaining water were soon gone, leaving Derek to scrounge for anything that looked edible. For the next four days, his diet consisted of wild berries, mushrooms and bugs. He drank water from the mountain streams and tried to keep warm by constantly moving around.

Meanwhile down below, the search for him had already begun after his colleagues at work reported him missing on Monday morning. The search teams scoured the mountain for four days before finding any clues.

On Friday the 15th, after searching for five hours, Greg Varney stumbled upon some granola bar wrappers, a knife case and a folded toothbrush. He then noticed some strange looking tracks that someone or something had left on the trail. Though his dog was unable to pick up any human scent, Greg kept following the marks and calling out Derek's name. Sure enough, about 100 yards away, he heard a faint reply and was soon able to find the injured, frostbitten and dehydrated hiker.

Derek, who was airlifted and taken to a hospital, has recovered completely now - and still vividly remembers what the insects tasted like; The ants were spicy like Hot Tamales, while the Centipedes tasted like Doritos - no word on the Spiders though.

Sources: Seattletimes.com Sifynews.com

Derek Mamoyac is lost 5 days on Mount Adams
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