For seven nights a man survived the freezing temperatures of the Alps, despite lacking proper lodging or shelter. Problems began for Benedet when he slipped and fell several meters into a canal. Though badly injured, with a broken ankle, Michele Benedet managed to drag himself to a nearby stream.
Out in the open, Benedet lay. His only defense against the frigid weather being a meager covering of leaves. That, and his pet dog. The 33-year-old credits his dog as helping him “to survive” the ordeal.
The hiker’s girlfriend was the one to alert the Friuli mountain and cave rescue service to her boyfriend’s absence. Benedet was discovered in a part of the Venzonassa Valley, at 2,000ft (700m), in an area that could not be reached by mobile phone. When found, he was conscious. Though severely bruised, suffering from both dehydration and hypothermia.