Brit Trapped By Sudden Snow Saved by French Shepherd

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Joseph GolderSub-EditorJoe Golder, Agency: Newsflash

A young English hiker left alone and injured the Pyrenees has been saved by a French shepherd who happened to be passing by when snow suddenly started to fall.

The incident took place near Gavarnie, in the Hautes-Pyrenees department, in south-western France, when the 21-year-old Englishman became lost as the weather suddenly changed across the country.

Sebastien Abbadie, the head of the local mountain rescue post, told 20 Minutes that the English hiker “was very lucky because given the winter temperatures, it was very likely he would not have survived the night.”


Mr Abbadie, who was alerted by the shepherd, set off in his 4WD to find the Englishman.

The English tourist had become trapped by sudden snowfall when the weather suddenly changed while he was coming down from a mountain hut. He had been hiking in the area for a few days but was taken by surprise by a sudden snowfall.

He slipped and fell, and broke his ankle, finding himself trapped and alone.

Mr Abbadie said: “This was in a rickety area with no phone signal and by a path that is not used very often.”


But luckily for the Englishman, the shepherd, who has not been named, had just been inspecting his flock of sheep as he was preparing to bring them down from the mountain the following day because of the snow.

The shepherd was driving along in his car when he suddenly noticed the Englishman, who has not been named, sitting by the side of the path, covered in a plastic survival sheet.

The kind shepherd gave the Englishman his gloves and his jacket and hurried off to alert mountain rescuers.

The Englishman is not thought to be in a life-threatening condition after his rescue.


The news comes as 6,000 sheep are being evacuated from a mountain because of the snow. That incident is taking place in Savoie, a department in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region of south-eastern France.

French newspaper Sud-Ouest report that 6,000 sheep and ewes, as well as about 100 cows, were left stuck at an altitude of about 2,000 metres (6,561.68 feet) near the Col du Glandon, a high mountain pass in the Dauphine Alps.

The 7,000 animals, along with their shepherds, had also been taken by surprise by the sudden change in weather. A thousand of them were evacuated on Sunday. And now the remaining 6000 are being evacuated.


A special convoy of six tons of food to be taken up the mountain to feed the animals while they wait to be evacuated.

The food could only be taken up the mountain after a snowplough had cleared snow off the road.

Sud Ouest report the locals are saying that they had not seen snow like this since 1974.

The ViralTab page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.