When rescuers found Brad Lidtke, he was curled up in a ball with his jacket over his head, frozen into the ice of a northern Minnesota lake.
“I pretty much had given up,” the 30-year-old said Sunday from a Bemidji, Minn., hospital where he was recovering from severe frostbite after spending 15 hours on the ice. He was listed in stable condition Monday.
The wind chill factor was 50 below zero when Lidtke decided to ride his snowmobile on Lake Winnibigoshish about 8 p.m. Saturday.
A snowstorm was raging and Lidtke became lost in a whiteout. Then his snowmobile got stuck.
He removed his left boot and sock to wring out the slush, but they froze and he couldn’t get them back on. The same thing happened to his gloves and hat.
He started to head for some lights in the distance.
“I started walking with no hat, no gloves and no sock or boot on one foot through the slush,” Lidtke said.
He gave up after a mile and a half, sat down and curled up.
When rescuers found Lidtke about 11 a.m. Sunday, his back side and legs were encased in ice. His clothes had to be cut off of him.
Lidtke said he may lose a couple of toes. “Glad I’m alive,” he said.