Elderly man survives mountain ordeal

A 72-year-old man has been found alive and well after spending a night outdoors in the snow-covered mountains of northern Sweden.

Stellan Mikaelsson was reported missing on Wednesday evening after failing to report in to a hunter’s lodge in the mountains near Tärnaby.

When he was found by rescue workers at lunch time on Thursday, the elderly hunter explained that his jeep had got stuck in the snow.

Soon after he had left the vehicle to seek shelter from the harsh weather conditions, the last hints of daylight disappeared and he had little option but to stay put.

“I froze so badly last night that I didn’t even have the energy to eat or drink,” he told the TT news agency.

“It was snowing and raining and very windy and I didn’t have any extra clothes with me.”

Police and rescue workers began searching for Mikaelsson shortly after midnight. A rescue helicopter was brought in to aid in the search and on Thursday morning his vehicle was found.

Following the footprints left in the snow, a rescue team finally located the frostbitten 72-year-old on the shores of Tängvattnet Lake.

Back home in the small village of Joeström, he was happy to talk about his ordeal over a mug of coffee.

“I lay down and kept a fire going all night. I left when it became light at eight this morning. I wouldn’t have been able to walk any further in the dark, I didn’t have a flashlight or anything.

“I just lay there freezing in the snow. I have never been so cold in my life and just thought that if I fall asleep now I’ll freeze to death. But I was kept busy tending the fire and didn’t go to sleep,” he said.