Story last updated at 2:36 p.m. Thursday, December 5, 2002

Up to his neck, and then some
Eight members of the Northern Lights Snowmachine Club rescued a snowmachiner last week from a crevasse near Summit Lake near Fairbanks. The man had been stuck in the 30-foot hole near the College Glacier for an hour.

"I really appreciate those guys," the man said. "I'm certainly grateful for them. It really makes you appreciate life much more."

The man asked not to be identified in hopes that his wife wouldn't find out about the accident.

He said he was riding about 15 miles from the Richardson Highway, saw the hole, but couldn't stop in time. He fell 30 feet before landing on a snow bridge.

"I managed to get turned around and get my feet under me," the man said. "But there was no way I could climb up because the walls were all ice.

"I didn't have a whole lot of hope," he said.

Fortunately for him, the area was swarming with snowmachiners. Lack of snow around other parts of Alaska caused many to go to the spot north of Paxson to ride.

The eight rescuers were having lunch when the man's friend rode up to them frantically and told them his buddy was in a crevasse.

They found the man and his machine at the bottom of the hole and formulated a plan to get him out.

After several attempts, the rescuers finally hauled the man and his snowmachine out with a rope. Rescuers said he was hypothermic and in shock, but after thawing out, was able to ride off the hill.

It is not known if his wife has found out about the accident.

-Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

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