Photo: Raul Gomez Cincinegui Rescued
A 58-year-old plumber from Uruguay has been rescued from the Andes after surviving four-months in the snow-covered mountain range.
Raul Gomez Cincinegui was traveling via motorcycle from Uruguay to the Chile-Argentina mountain border in May to meet up with other motorcyclists. When his bike broke down in Chile he decided to travel across the mountain range on foot. Crossing the Andes from Chile-to-Argentina is closed to hikers effective April 30 due to the incoming winter season. He was rescued some 14,760 feet above sea level by Argentine state employees checking water levels on the mountain peaks.
Gomez was found at the Ingeniero Sardina refuge in the Las Patos Sur Valley inside a cabin. In interviews with AP the Uruguayan man claims to have survived by eating small animals including an owl. He is currently in an Argentina hospital recuperating from severe malnutrition, the ordeal left him 45 pounds lighter.
His famiiy that includes his mother, wife and two daughter never gave up hope he was alive. Repeated search parties had been sent to find him but were unsuccessful due to poor weather.
It is not known why the man would risk crossing a treacherous mountain range without any mountaineering experience and with few supplies. Chilean authorities say its because in April an arrest warrant was issued for Gomez on suspicion of child sex abuse. His family says those allegation are not true and that he is simply an adventurous man.
What is not in dispute is that his survival is miraculous.