Lost Boy Survives Night on Slopes of Waterville Valley

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Waterville Valley, NH, Feb. 22 (AP by Rebecca Mahoney)--Ten-year-old Ryan Lanagan has one more reason to look up to his big brother.

The Mattapoisett, Mass., boy said his brother's outdoor survival tips helped keep him alive when he got lost while skiing and spent a night on a mountain at the Waterville Valley resort in 15-degree weather.

``My brother went on a survival week and taught me a lot,'' Ryan said Monday after rescuers found him.

The fourth-grader got separated from his father on Sunday and became disoriented. He ended up on the edge of a closed ski trail cutting through the forest in the White Mountains of central New Hampshire.

Among the lessons he learned from his 14-year-old brother, T.J., was that snow can help insulate against the cold. After wandering through chest-high snow for several hours, he partially buried himself and went to sleep.

He said he knew people would look for him and that he needed to ``dig in and wait.''

``He was dressed very well,'' said resort general manager Tom Day. ``His mom and dad made sure when he left home he was ready for everything.''

The boy was missing on a weekend that saw emergency experts warn of widespread avalanche danger across the Northeast. Two people were killed in slides, one near Mount Washington in New Hampshire and the other in New York.

Ryan admitted he was ``a little scared,'' but said he knew he'd be all right.

On Monday morning, the crew of a helicopter spotted him waving. He had spent about 15 hours in the cold.

Fish and Game officer Todd Borgardis reached Ryan on snowshoes, and Ryan walked most of the way down the mountain with his help.

Ryan did not need hospital treatment, and he said he hoped to be back on the ski slopes today.

Copyright (c) 2000 The Associated Press