Israeli hiker says he spent 16 hours injured alone on frozen mountain in Georgia

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An Israeli hiker recently fell down a rocky slope in the snow-capped Georgian mountains, broke his leg, and spent 16 freezing hours alone, leaning against a tree on a steep incline while his friends continued on and eventually brought some assistance.

Sagi Ayalot recounted the ordeal in an interview with Channel 12 news on Tuesday, saying that a day before the accident, he and his two trekking partners Yaniv Ben Aryeh and Doron Sahar had been hiking in sunny weather at an altitude 3,000 meters when they were caught. in a sudden snowstorm in the north of the European country, forcing them to abandon their plans.

After spending the night in tents on another side of the mountain, the storm having passed but the ground covered in heavy snow, the trio decided to head for the nearest village. During this effort, Ayalot lost his footing, tumbling 30 meters down the side of the mountain and breaking his leg in the process.

After Ayalot fell at 2:30 p.m., Ben Aryeh provided medical aid before the group collectively decided the best course of action was for the two uninjured hikers to continue and seek help, while Ayalot remained perched against a tree to make sure he didn’t. t continue to slide further down the slope.

“It was clear to me that this was going to be a challenge and there would be no quick rescue – I would probably have to spend the night alone,” Ayalot said.

With leg pain preventing any chance of sleep, Ayalot said he’s been busy all night doing “small chores” like changing his bandages, changing his clothes and even sewing. “I was constantly looking for things to do to distract me until dawn.”

A view of the Caucasus Mountains near Kazbegi, Georgia on June 4, 2013. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)

Ayalot admitted that the possibility that rescuers might not be able to locate him occurred to him for a moment, “but very quickly I told myself not to deal with these ideas because I had complete confidence that they would would arrive safely”.

After a 16 hour wait, at around 8 a.m. a helicopter finally came looking for the injured hiker, who signaled by throwing an orange bag blanket up the tree, allowing rescuers to d successfully identify its location despite heavy morning fog. .

“It’s a happy moment, like a weight on my chest. I realized the ordeal was over, it was only a matter of time before I walked again,” Ayalot said.

“I hope to be back trekking as soon as possible.”

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