Olympic Hockey Player Eric LeMarque’s amazing story of getting lost off the backside of Mammoth Ski Resort, CA will be released as a Hollywood movie this October 13, 2017. Josh Hartnett will play LeMarque in the film titled, “6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain”.
LeMarque was a hockey player for the French Olympic Team (1994) who later had drug addiction issues with Crystal Meth.
In 2004 he was on a ski trip at Mammoth Mountain with friends, he extended his stay and went off alone for the day. He snowboarded off the back side of the Resort and was lost for the next 8 days in the treacherous Sierra Nevada Mountains.
The L.A. Times wrote an article about his story back in 2004, about a month after Le Marque had gone missing. It is worth a read.
Mono County Search and Rescue uses LeMarques story as a warning on being prepared and knowledgeable about the elements when exploring outdoors.
“Missing Snowboarder Found After Seven Nights
Eric Lemarque, 34, left the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area alone on February 6, and went in search of powder on the Mountain’s backside. The former Olympic hockey player, who became lost that evening, spent a week in the snowy wilderness, waiting to be rescued. He survived on pine nuts, and built a make-shift igloo for shelter.
Lemarque was found on February 13, dehydrated, with mild hypothermia, and suffering from frostbite to his left foot. He had wandered more than nine miles from the approved snowboard runs at the Mountain, and didn’t have any food or gear with him. He had attempted to build a fire pit nearly three miles from where he was located. He had traveled during the day, moving in a direction he thought was southeast, and back to the ski area. However, he was completely disoriented, traveled in exactly the opposite direction (southwest), and further into the wilderness.
The day Lemarque was rescued, a Blackhawk helicopter and SAR team members, located Lemarque’s tracks, and followed them to Rainbow Falls (near Fish Creek). Then he was airlifted to the local hospital, and later on to a Los Angeles area burn center.
Perhaps with more awareness of the backcountry’s inherit risks, Lemarque would have gone better prepared for his life-and-death adventure.Note: Lemarque’s frostbite was so severe that both of his feet developed gangrene and about two weeks after being rescued both feet and lower legs below the knee were amputated. Also note that reports of his death were in error … out of area media confused his case with the Foley case.”
Eric LeMarque wrote a book about his experience, the movie will be loosely based off of the story.
“In this riveting first-person account, former Olympian and professional hockey player Eric LeMarque tells a harrowing tale of survival―of how, with only a lightweight jacket and thin wool hat, he survived eight days stranded in the frozen wilderness after a snowboarding trip gone horribly wrong.
Known by his National Guard rescuers as “the Miracle Man,” Eric recounts his rise to success and fame as a hockey player and Olympian, his long and painful fall due to crystal meth addiction, and his unbelievable ordeal in the wilderness. In the end, a man whose life had been based on athleticism would lose both his legs to frostbite and had to learn to walk―and snowboard―again with prosthetics. He realized that he couldn’t come to terms with his drug addiction or learn to walk again by himself. He had to depend on God for his strength.
Now an inspirational speaker committed to raising awareness for the dangers of drugs and crystal meth, Eric, in 6 Below, confronts the ultimate test of survival: what it takes to find your way out of darkness, and―after so many lies―to tell the truth and, by the grace and guidance of God, begin to live again.” –AmazonBooks description