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Survival at Sierra Madre

Survival at Sierra Madre

Flying into Guachochi

About to land at 8,000 feet near Guachochi, Mexico

My body shook from the cold, my hands and knees were numb. I could barely feel my fingers raking a half-inch layer of pine needles into an insulating bed. I had started a partial lean-to, but wasn’t able to break off pine boughs needed to complete the cover. It was a desperate effort to survive the freezing winter night in January. I was alone at 8,000 feet in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Central Mexico in total darkness. The starry night barely showed through the forest’s mantel and even venturing a few feet for building materials required me to feel my way back to my nest. I wore only a turtleneck shirt and had not eaten since breakfast. My mouth was dry and my lips were cracked from dehydration. I felt tired from the long day’s journey. I was seduced with the thought of laying down and going to sleep. My trembling and condition indicated symptoms of hypothermia, which means sleeping would result in death. The night was sucking warmth from me like a black hole. I thought about the series of events bringing me to this point. 



  • Copyright 2014 by Kent Gunnufson