Hiker lost for 5 days in good spirits after rescue

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – More than 100 volunteers searched for Nathan Mitchell – the hiker who was lost for 5 days in the Mount Hood wilderness – before finding him Thursday, and on Friday, Mitchell continued his recovery.

Mitchell said he’s tired and bruised, but extremely grateful to rest his swollen feet after days of trying to hike out of the Salmon Huckleberry Wilderness.

Mitchell had only planned to do a 14-mile day hike on Saturday – making it 7 miles up Boulder Ridge before a storm stopped him on the way down.

“Hunkered down and pulled my arms into my shirt and felt the warmth in my armpits and it just got dark so fast because it’s fall and that’s when I tumbled down the hill,” Mitchell said.

When he scrambled back up, he bumped his backpack – which then tumbled out of sight with all of his supplies.

“I’m just delusional after the fall, and it was so steep that I just gave up on the backpack,” Mitchell said.

With only a flashlight, he continued on, however, the batteries eventually died.

Mitchell said he had trouble the first night but was more hopeful going into the second day, which is when he was able to “storm through a lot of terrain.”

As the days continued, he followed the Bonanza Creek.

“The stream was so steep that my feet and my legs got soaked,” Mitchell said.

Due to the amount of time he spent walking in the water, he developed a painful condition called “trench foot” – making it hard to climb.

After it all, Mitchell is expected to be out of the hospital soon.

“It truly is an amazing miracle,” Gay, his mother, said.

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