AN Ulster man has escaped with his life after spending Christmas Day stranded.
Andrew Kane, 29, was on his first ever skiing holiday with his wife Michele and took a week of lessons at Kitzbhel.
Gaining confidence after a few days, he decided to try a few slopes on his own on Christmas Day. But thick fog came down about 2pm and after taking a wrong turn he slipped about 40 feet down a steep slope.
Unable to climb up again and having lost his skis, he had to crawl forward on his hands and knees for several hours.
He made his way to a distant farmhouse and, with a blizzard blowing, settled down for the night in the stable, covering himself with straw.
"I remember thinking 'this is very biblical'," said Andrew. "I just went into survival mode and thought 'I have got to take steps to get out of this'.
"The temperatures were between minus 14 and minus 19 and the wind was blowing through the stable."
He only slept for an hour and shivered the entire night.
Eventually he met an 84-year-old skier who lives locally and he guided him down - which took two hours.
"My wife said she didn't think she was ever going to see me again," he said.
But suffering only blisters and dehydration, he is determined it won't be his last ski holiday.
"But next time I will stick in a group," he said.