81 Year Old Man Survives Almost A Week Stuck In The Snow

In a remarkable tale of survival and resilience, 81-year-old Jerry Jouret endured nearly a week trapped in his car amidst a severe snowstorm in California. Jouret, a former NASA employee and mathematician, embarked on a journey from Big Pine, California, to Gardnerville, Nevada, on February 24, underestimating the impending snowstorm’s severity. His trip went wrong after his SUV became stuck near Gilbert Pass, as temperatures plummeted into the teens.

Jouret’s predicament was made worse by his lack of preparation for the harsh weather. Dressed in a light windbreaker and accompanied by minimal warmth sources – a light quilt and a hotel bath towel – his situation appeared dire. His physical stature, described by his grandson Christian as “pretty small,” further heightened the risk of hypothermia.

Despite these challenges, Jouret’s grit shone. He conserved gas and battery, only using them sporadically for warmth. He sustained himself with limited snacks – croissants, candy, and biscotti – and snow, which he occasionally ate.

The situation worsened when his car’s battery died, leaving him with a partially open window amidst freezing temperatures. Meanwhile, California grappled with unusually harsh winter conditions, leaving many areas, including where Jouret was stranded, heavily snowed in.

Jouret’s rescue began unfolding on February 28, when Inyo County Sheriff’s Office received a missing person report. Inclement weather initially hampered search efforts, but a breakthrough came on March 2 when a cell phone ping led to his discovery by a California Highway Patrol team. A helicopter crew, initially mistaking his car for a large rock, spotted Jouret waving through the small window opening.

Miraculously, Jouret emerged from this ordeal in good health, spending only a few hours in the hospital with no signs of hypothermia. His quick discharge and stable vitals left the medical staff astonished. After his release, he returned to Big Pine and eventually returned to his wife in Gardnerville, with their SUV still trapped in the snow.

This harrowing experience serves as a stark reminder of the dangers of winter travel, particularly in unfamiliar conditions. Christian Jouret’s message underscores the importance of hope and the human body’s incredible capacity to endure extreme situations. The Inyo County Search and Rescue’s advice resonates profoundly in this context: during snowfall, travelers should be well-prepared, respect road closures, carry extra supplies, or avoid travel until conditions improve. Jerry Jouret’s story is not just a testament to personal resilience but also a cautionary tale about the unpredictability of nature and the importance of preparedness.

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