When Man vs. Wild star Bear Grylls filmed an episode about surviving on a windswept Icelandic glacier, he built a snow shelter that he slept in overnight. When Portland 14-year-old Jake Denham got lost on Mt. Bachelor and stuck in -17-degree weather for 10 hours over the weekend, he also built a snow shelter--just like Mr. Grylls taught him on the teevee. But Denham didn't stay there overnight--he started hiking out at midnight in the cold. And thanks to the efforts of a platoon of rescuers on the hunt, the boy is safe--and practically every media outlet that's reported the story is gushing about how he owes it all to reality TV.
According to multiple reports yesterday, Denham got separated from his mom while the two were skiing down Mt. Bachelor. Apparently he lost a ski, but instead of trying to reattach it and keep going, he tried to walk down the mountain instead.
This didn't work, and soon it got dark.
Talk to me when your kid's eaten carrion organs.
The boy apparently started following the North Star and other ski trails down the hill. And when the wind got real bad, he built a snow bank in the hill so the wind would go over him--a skill he later said he learned watching Man vs. Wild.
All great ideas, as Bear would agree.
But with the makings of a viable shelter already done and the coldest part of the night setting in, Denham risked it all when he left his hovel and tried to wander to safety.
Luckily for him, the Mt. Bachelor Ski Patrol, National Guard, and Deschutes County Search and Rescue squad was out in force looking for him, and just happened to see him in the dark.
Not much longer in those conditions, and the boy would have been a teensicle.
So while we're all happy to see little Jake safe and sound, let's give credit where credit is due. Bear Grylls might have put a couple decent ideas in the kid's head, but it was rescue workers and a hefty dose of blind luck that kept him alive.
OK, now that that's settled, can we please watch Bear Grylls eat something nasty?