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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 3/22/2006 1:03:49 PM EDT
www.nytimes.com/2006/03/22/national/22cnd-survive.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&adxnnlx=1143064936-9xIX2txAceppT75Gk7Mb6Q&pagewanted=print


March 22, 2006
Family of 6 Survives 2 Weeks of Being Stranded in Snow
By JOHN HOLUSHA

A family of self-described "wilderness rats" survived more than two weeks in a recreational vehicle that became stuck in the snow covered mountains of southwestern Oregon before being rescued late Tuesday.

The family — a husband and wife, two children and the husband's mother and stepfather — slid off a little-traveled road and became stuck in as much as five feet of snow. "The motor home turned into a snowplow," said Elbert Higginbotham, the stepfather, in an interview with an Oregon television station. "We had snow up to the windshield."

Pete Stivers, 29, his wife Marlo Hill-Stivers, 31, their children Sabastyan, 9, and Gabrayell, 8, along with Mr. Stivers's mother Becky Higginbotham and Elbert, set out set out from Ashland, Ore., across the mountains to the Pacific coast, a trip that normally takes about four hours.

The family ran into difficulties on the return trip, when it decided to take a scenic route back home, rather than more heavily traveled roads. "Every time we took a corner, it seemed like we took a wrong corner," Mr. Higginbotham said.

After the 36-foot vehicle slid off the road, about 3,800 feet above sea level, efforts to dig it out by hand were unsuccessful.

But the vehicle was well-equipped with dehydrated food, propane for heat and engine fuel to supply electric power. Water came from melted snow. The family was able to watch television broadcasts of the search for their location, but were out of range for cellphone communication.

Police searched the more heavily used routes searching for the family, but to the outside world it seemed as though they had just disappeared from the face of the earth.

Twelve days after they left home, the police in Oregon were calling the case "suspicious." Relatives noted that none of the family bank accounts had been accessed and wondered how the six could be traveling without spending money.

The police eventually called off the search, saying there were no leads to follow.

After 16 days, with cold weather making the snow firmer, Mr. Stivers and his wife decided to walk out to seek help. "The snow was knee deep, rather than hip deep," Mr. Higginbotham said in a televised interview.

The two brought a tent, blankets, hand warmers and food. "The blankets were wool, so they could keep them warm even if they got wet," Mr. Higginbotham said.

After hiking for about 24 hours, they encountered workers from the federal Bureau of Land Management and were rescued. Workers in vehicles designed to operate in deep snow were sent to pick up the four people still in the motor home and they were all reunited in Glendale, Ore., about 80 miles north of the California border.

Mr. Higginbotham said they passed the time reading and talking. He said the adults are experienced outdoorsmen. "We have lived that way in the middle of nowhere," he said. "We know how to live this way. We were lucky that nobody got sick or hurt."

Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:12:50 PM EDT
Um, I think they are Darwin winner candidates. I think most of us would have tried to walk or climb out in the first day. I think they enjoyed themselves in the RV!
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:13:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/22/2006 1:15:21 PM EDT by RuskEnt]
Uh what was the point of staying in the motorhome for so long. If i was the husband, i would of left the family and walked for help on day one. He might of been able to walk a mile and gotten cell service!

Reminds me of the show i saw on discovery channel. Some much got lost in upstate new york hiking. He got lost of the main trial. He stayed in his tent for 65 days before dieing. I think they said he could of walked to Ohio in that amount of time!
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:13:50 PM EDT
been duped already at the SF!
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:16:12 PM EDT
I think they did the right thing staying there,they had everything needed to survive and wait for help.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:28:32 PM EDT
They were watching it on TV! When they heard that they were giving up the search, they should have walked out. Ridiculous and retarded. They need to pay back the LEOs and other search people for their time and costs.

Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:43:16 PM EDT
Nothing like being prepared for problems/trouble and the brains to stay calm & think the situation over before doing anything rash.

Depending on the weather I'd sit it out and wait, especially with them being able to follow the news and search.

Nothing wrong waiting for weather conditions to improve, especially if you are prepared for a longer stay & have no problems with shelter/food or clothing.

Then ya walk out when you know you have the ability to do so without getting lost.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:45:33 PM EDT
Soon to be a family of 7.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:50:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tanam:
Soon to be a family of 7.



But formerly a family of 8.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:53:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RuskEnt:
Uh what was the point of staying in the motorhome for so long. If i was the husband, i would of left the family and walked for help on day one. He might of been able to walk a mile and gotten cell service!

Reminds me of the show i saw on discovery channel. Some much got lost in upstate new york hiking. He got lost of the main trial. He stayed in his tent for 65 days before dieing. I think they said he could of walked to Ohio in that amount of time!



The first rule of survival in a case like this is stay put. Moving around makes it harder for rescue crews to find you. They monitored the rescue efforts and when it was apparent they were not going to be found any other way they sent a team out to seek help. It sounds like the kept their cool and made all of the right decisions.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:57:32 PM EDT
Hey kids, who wants a lemon sno cone?
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