A 26-year-old hiker who broke his leg on a US mountain trail in below freezing temperatures has crawled for more almost 10 hours to reach help.
Joe Oldendorf was almost three hours into the Duckabush Trail at Olympic National Park when he slipped on an icy patch of ground over the weekend, ABC US affiliate KOMO reports.
“I knew right away that I hurt my ankle and then I sat down to examine it and my foot kinda flopped to the side like it was untethered,” Mr Oldendorf told the media outlet.
“So yeah, at that point I knew I was in deep trouble.”
The hiker, who was reportedly wearing only light running gear, started to crawl to a campsite he remembered seeing about 4kms back down the track.
He said when the skin on his knees became raw from the trail he put his shoes over them to offer protection.
“I was just trying to keep my mind on moving. I knew deep down that that was my only option, so I didn’t really stop to entertain anything else. I just tried to stay warm and keep going,” he said.
After seven hours of crawling he Mr Oldendorf’s mobile phone beeped with a message, alerting him to being back in reception. He was able to get through to emergency services on the third attempt.
It would take another four hours of crawling before he heard rescue crews yelling out for him.
Emergency services, first responders, covered him in blankets and hot packs to help stave off hypothermia.
Members of the US Coast Guard aircrew hoisted Mr Oldendorf from the mountain. He was taken to Harborview Medical Centre in a station condition. He underwent emergency surgery for his leg and treatment for his skinned knees.
He is expected to make a full recovery after 12 weeks.