Rescued Snowbowl Skiers Share Story, Give Thanks - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Rescued Snowbowl Skiers Share Story, Give Thanks

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MISSOULA -

The two skiers who were rescued from the back country near Snowbowl on Saturday release a statement of thanks to local search and rescue crew members.

Lucas Bonnevie, 19, is recovering from frostbitten feet at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula.

"I'd like to thank the Search & Rescue guys, especially Alex for dragging me out. And the other two search and rescue guys for staying with Matt and getting him out. The 9-1-1 operator that night was great, as were the Sheriff and Police department personnel I dealt with. The ambulance crew took great care of me on the way to the hospital."

Bonnevie and his roommate, Matt Dustin, 19, intended to take one last run of the day on Friday when they became lost. "We were going to ski to the car, which was parked below Snowbowl on the road. The route is out of bounds, and we had skied it at least four times this winter with no problem. With so much new snow, we took a wrong turn off the ridge. When we realized we were in trouble, our friend, Neil Rissman, called search and rescue and I'd like to thank him for his help."

Both skiers had their avalanche beacons on and activated. In addition, they carried shovels, whistles, Avi-packs and Bonnevie had an extra pair of gloves. "I want people to know that I knew what I was doing and how to get out. The snow was waist deep, though. We dug a snow cave in a tree well and used our body heat to stay alive. I wasn't going to die and I wasn't going to let Matt die!"

The skiers are both students at the University of Montana and grew up together in Farmington, Maine.

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