Stranded Snowshoer Burned Money To Help Stay Warm Before Being Rescued

The phrase “cash to burn” takes on a whole new meaning in the case of a stranded snowshoer, who used his dough as kindling to keep warm. While he awaited rescue on Mt. Rainier in Washington, the 66-year-old man spent two nights running in place and setting fire to his money.

The Komo News says searchers found the man on Monday, after he slipped down a slope and became separated from the group he was snowshoeing with. Since he was in the lead, the others had a hard time pinpointing where he fell.

He did have some fire starters with him, so he used those and burned leaves at first. But then it was on to personal items like socks and the aforementioned cash. Only $1 and $5 dollar bills though — no need to light up the big bills.

Rescuers finally reached him using a Sno-Cat vehicle, and then searchers snowshoed to his location, loaded him into a littler, dragged him back and got him into the vehicle.

He’s doing well, and is thankful to the rangers who found him. He’s been checked out by medics and sent home with his family.

Perhaps one reason to carry a lot of cash, at least if you’re liable to get stuck in the snow. After all, credit cards just melt into smelly piles of burned plastic. No help there!

*Consumerist reader Joe — thanks for the tip!

Rescued snowshoer burned money to keep warm [Komo News]


Edit Your Comment

  1. rpm773 says:

    Since he was in the lead, the others had a hard time pinpointing where he fell.

    Mmm hmm. Overachiever. We all know them…

    And this is why I live my life staying safely within the confines of the flock.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      And why I live my life safely away from snowy mountains in January!

      I know there’s the lure of adventure and all, but for the life of me I don’t know why people insist upon trekking about on slippery mountains in sub zero temps in January. It’s hard enough keeping warm in my little house in PA during the winter.

  2. Coffee says:

    I know I’m cheap because they would have found my corpse, covered with a thin blanket of bills, next to a smoldering pile of snowshoe gear.

  3. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    For someone who goes snowshoeing in the wilderness, you’d think he would have known how to build an emergency snow-igloo and other methods to keep warm other than burning his socks.

    Probably the most creative trick I heard was to dig a hole INSIDE your snow hole/trench. Why? Because hot air rises and cold air falls. By digging a hole beneath your living area, you allow all the cold air to fall beneath you instead of getting mixed into your personal space.

    • Tiffymonster says:

      Thanks for that link. Being from NYC and a not much of an outdoorsy snow person I never thought of anything like that but its great to know in case of an emergency.

  4. CubeRat says:

    Well, ya can’t take it with you………

  5. dosdelon says:

    This happened a lot in Germany when inflation got so bad that it was cheaper to burn money than to buy firewood.

  6. Sure I could agree with you, but then we'd BOTH be wrong. says:

    Waiting for someone to blame the OP

    • Snoofin says:

      Well I guess we could mention that it is illegal to burn money (defacing federal property) and he should be sent to a federal prison for burning it.

      • Bsamm09 says:

        My credit union lets me deposit cash like a check on my iPhone. I take a picture of it on my phone and then have to burn or shred it. So I guess it is not illegal.

  7. c_c says:

    Fresh Prince already did it.

  8. raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

    Grandpa didn’t have firestarting tools when he got lost on Gorgonio. He hugged a tree and stomped his feet to keep warm, and eventually found a ranger station the next day.

    But then, nobody was looking for him, because he deliberately hid from the rangers, and he didn’t tell us his group cancelled, and all we knew was it was a 2-day trip.

    Ah Grandpa, you are some of our best stories.

  9. 85% Real 15% Filler says:

    That’s a pretty cheap happy ending.

  10. galligator says:

    18 U.S.C. § 333 : US Code РSection 333

  11. Tiffymonster says:
  12. Wench86 says:

    He used to keep all his money in the B of A…. it was cheaper to burn..

  13. hush404 says:

    I’d be screwed! I never carry cash… and even if I did… $1/$2 would be useless as I’m Canadian :P

  14. Groanan says:

    “66-year-old man spent two nights running in place and setting fire to his money.”

    Not sure if practical survival skills or witchcraft.

  15. Blueskylaw says:

    The Weimar Republic had the same problem; money useless in its current situation.

  16. ancientone567 says:

    I could burn plastic… but the toxic smell..ack

  17. shthar says:

    The cocaine embedded in the bills helped.

  18. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    I wonder if he was a Scout (or equivalent) as a kid. If he was he should give up all his badges as going into the woods without the basics of survival gear is unacceptable.

    Gear he could have easily carried in his pockets include a couple of emergency blankets, a couple of brightly colored oversize garbage bags, some light rope/twine, small LED flashlight, Fox40 whistle, etc. He did have the ability to make fire and why he didn’t make a real fire for heat and signaling is odd.

    In a small backpack he could have carried much more very helpful and light gear to help with his survival.

    I do understand that he had planned a short day trip and so outfitted himself accordingly. Very few people who end up needing rescuing planned for adversity to be part of their plans, but maybe they should.

    And if he was the group leader why in the hell did he abandon his group?

  19. DanGarion says:

    What happened to the Consumer articles?