file under badass: rescued 66-year-old snowshoer burned money to stay warm

Okay, how badass is this old timer? In Washington, a 66-year-old snowshoer survived in the cold for two days after getting lost in a blizzard on Mountain Ranier: Mount Rainier snowshoer burned money for warmth.

Yong Chun Kim, who served in the South Korean military in the Vietnam War, says he stayed alive through severe weather conditions by using emergency supplies, digging out a snow tunnel and burning personal items -- including dollar bills -- to stay warm:
With temperatures in the teens and winds whipping on the mountain, Kim said he kept walking and moving to stay warm. He took cover in several tree wells - depressions in snow that forms around a tree - and slept standing for 5 to 10 minutes at a time.

He initially made a shelter near a big rock and tried to stay warm. He tried to keep walking, but at times "the snow was so deep, I couldn't breathe."

Kim dreamed of his wife and a nice hot sauna. He talked to himself. He took pictures. He prayed to God. He worried his family and friends would worry about him. He made a fire, drank hot water and ate rice, some Korean food and a chocolate bar.

And even as he burned his personal items to say warm, the last $6 going up in flames Sunday night, he said: "I worried because it's a national park. You're not supposed to have a fire. ... I'm worried about that but I want to (stay) alive."

Money made for the best fire, he said, laughing. Nylon socks and packaging, not so great.
I'd say that was money well spent. Thankfully, after an extensive three-day search involving dozens of park rangers, rescue dogs and volunteers, Kim was found -- in pretty good shape too. Like I said, badass. More here: Rescued snowshoer burned money to stay warm.

UPDATE: Check out the great photo accompanying this article. Yong Chun Kim handed his camera to rescuers, who snapped this photo of him as he was being carried after being found Monday in Mount Rainier National Park. (Thanks, Garrett.)

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