TODAY   |  April 01, 2013

Hiker found alive after 6 days in freezing weather

Mary Owen, a college student on spring break, was found alive on Saturday after being stranded for nearly a week on Mount Hood, disoriented by heavy snowfall and injured by a 40-foot fall. NBC’s Savannah Guthrie reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> for the first time this morning we are hearing from the young hiker who spent six harrowing days stranded on oregon's mt. hood.

>> i'm glad to be alive.

>> reporter: mary owen is not only glad but also lucky to be alive. the 23-year-old hiker went on what was supposed to be a day hike on mt. hood, but weather turned to whiteout conditions as she was about 1,000 feet from the summit.

>> i couldn't really see anything and it was dark and that was where i kind of got discombobulated, went down the wrong side of the mountain, funneled into a canyon.

>> reporter: lost, cold and completely disoriented, things went from bad to worse, after taking a 40-foot fall the first night on the mountain.

>> in the morning i look at my leg, it was torn up and i wasn't able to lift it.

>> reporter: for the next four days, owen an experienced hiker was able to keep dry in a hollowed out tree, eating nutrition bars and using her wilderness skills to stay warm.

>> i found out nutrigrain bar wrappers make good kindling so i was able to put in a good fire.

>> reporter: on saturday a rescue helicopter located owen . she was taken to a local hospital where she is being treated for frost bite and a leg injury.

>> pretty amazing.

>> hiking alone is hard. it's really i'm not sure that's all that advisable but we're happy she's okay.