Injured Back-Country Skier Found

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Moose, WY Apr. 16 (AP)--A skier broke his ankle during a solo trip into the back country of Grand Teton National Park and then slid and crawled five miles over three days to reach help.

Vito Seskunas, 53, of Baltimore, was listed in stable condition Sunday in the intensive care unit of St. John's Hospital in Jackson after surgery, officials said.

Seskunas said he was injured Tuesday, the first day of a planned five-day trip, while skiing a steep ravine in Death Canyon several miles west of Moose, park spokeswoman Joan Anzelmo said in a statement.

He set up a tent and stayed in place that night, but on Wednesday he decided to crawl out, knowing he would not be reported missing for several days.

He abandoned most of his food and water because he couldn't carry very much. At night, he took shelter under fir trees, lying on top of branches he piled on the snow.

In some places he was able to use his ski poles like crutches, but he said he covered most of the distance by sliding on his backside.

On Saturday, two other skiers encountered him and called park rangers.

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press