Stranded hiker burns cash to keep warm

Updated: 

Ted S. Warren/AP

A hiker who was lost in a blizzard for two days said he burned money to keep warm.

Yong Chun Kim, 66, of Tacoma, was climbing Mount Rainier in Washington State, when he got separated from his group and resorted to burning $1 and $5 bills from his wallet until his was rescued.


Mr Kim became separated from his snowshoe group on Saturday and wasn't rescued until Monday.

He told reporters that he had fire starters with him and first burned some leaves. Then he started burning personal items: his socks and then the dollar bills from his wallet.

Mr Kim also said he kept moving to keep warm, took cover under a tree at night and dreamed of his wife and a nice hot sauna. He was found in such good shape that he did not have to go to a hospital and, instead, went home with his family.

Mr Kim, who has been snowshoeing for a decade, was well-equipped for a day trip but did not have overnight gear. He was reported missing on Saturday after he fell down a slope and became separated from a group he was leading in the Paradise area, a popular high-elevation destination on the mountain's southwest flank, about a 100-mile drive south from Seattle.

Bad weather prevented a helicopter rescue, so crews used a Sno-Cat snow mobile to reach the area where Kim was.

Searchers traversed deep snow and snowshoed up a river valley to pull him from the icy remote backcountry. The team reached Kim on Monday afternoon but it took nine hours to bring him from the rugged terrain covered in deep snow to a road, spokesman Lee Taylor said.

"The rangers, they're good people," Mr Kim told KOMO-TV of Seattle. "I love them."

SPONSORED FINANCIAL CONTENT