CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine -- Maine wardens say a 17-year-old skier who was found alive and well at Maine's Sugarloaf ski resort Tuesday. He survived two nights in the wild by building a snow cave for shelter while walking toward the sound of snowmobiles during the day.
The Maine Warden Service says a snowmobiler found Nicholas Joy, of Medford, Mass., Tuesday morning on a trail off the western side of Sugarloaf Mountain. He was taken to a hospital for evaluation.
Joy was reported missing Sunday afternoon after he and his father took separate trails from the top and he failed to show up at the bottom.
Wardens say Joel Paul, a snowmobiler from Massachusetts who was not part of the search party, found the boy.
Sugarloaf General Manager John Diller says Joy and his parents had a tearful reunion.
Joy and his father split up after taking a chairlift to the top of the mountain and took separate trails down in what was going to be the last run of the day, Lt. Kevin Adam, the search coordinator, said Monday. They planned to meet in the Sugarloaf parking lot and drive back to Massachusetts, and the father called for help when his son didn't show up, Adam said.
The search was hampered Monday by high winds and blowing snow that limited visibility and caused the search to be called off at nightfall. Joy was located a short time after the search resumed Tuesday by Joel Paul, a snowmobile rider from Massachusetts, the warden service said.
One or two skiers get lost and are reported missing at Sugarloaf most winters, with skiers sometimes spending a night in the outdoors before being found. In a highly publicized case three years ago, four teenage snowboarders got lost after going out of bounds into ungroomed expert terrain, but they survived a cold night in dense woods and deep snow by continually moving around to stay warm.