Valley man explains how he survived 3 nights on snowy Utah mountain

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- A Valley man spent three nights and two days stranded in the snowy mountains of Utah.

Lawrence Orduno loves riding snowmobiles. He visited his mother for Christmas in Utah and on Friday hit the trails of the Franklin Basin with a friend, but they got separated.

"As I got to the top of Boss Canyon and just went over to the other side, I got the snowmobile stuck and that's when it all began," Orduno said.

It was a three-night fight for his life in chest-deep snow drifts.

"I started to get my shelter ready and my wood, what little wood I could find, and I dug a snow cave," Orduno said, recalling the first night.

Orduno tried the next day to free his snowmobile, but it was stuck in ice.

"It hurt. It hurt considerably -- my toes and my hands," Orduno said.

He had nothing to eat.

"I had a pack of gum. I had little Chiclets. I had three pieces every now and then and frozen Gatorade," Orduno said.

The next night, he knew his snow cave wouldn't cut it, so he tried something else, using the large sides of his snowmobile.

"I laid in one so I didn't have to lay in the snow, and then put one over me so the snow didn't get on me and melt," Orduno said.

On Monday morning, he heard snowmobiles in the distance. The driver of one snowmobile saw him and went straight toward him.

"He came down the hill and I was elated," Orduno said.

With only minimal frostbite to his hands and feet, Orduno refused medical treatment and says it was thinking about his son and girlfriend that kept him going.

He thanks all the crews and volunteers who searched for him, and he says he would like to train to become a volunteer rescue crew member.