My Cell Phone is Lost in the Snow

My Cell Phone is Lost in the Snow

A Tale from the Trails:


Fresh powdered snow may be a joy to ski through, but I was just reminded in a very real way last weekend that it can also be very good at hiding things.

As I was trying out a new pair of skate skis at Albion Hills on the Black 6.5 km skate loop, I fell on a rather steep descent. At the bottom was one of those quick right turns, and I was not used to these new skis, blah, blah, excuses, excuses.

There I went head over heels into the powder snow, with no injury to me except to my ego. Having almost done the splits (yikes),  I rolled over in the snow giggling to myself and got up without popping off my skis. (very macho)

Taking a moment to dust myself off, I noticed my waist pack pocket was unzipped! Looking inside, wallet check, power bars check, cell phone!!

No phone!?? OK not cool, where is it?

The height of the new snowfall was a good 30cm (12 inches) of powder. A very fine mass of fluffy flakes, the kind that does not leave a clue when disturbed. And the phone was in there, where could be?  With one ski I fanned the snow back and forth right down to the ground in the area of the fall – Nothing!

Had the phone shot out of my pack farther into the woods when I did that tumble?

Perhaps somehow it had popped out along the way before I got here,  or I had left it at the chalet with my girlfriend. What to do, but head back and check.  Retracing my 4 km path over three BIG hill climbs, across the open field with the nasty arctic winds I went.  Nope, not there.

OK, I had to re-grouped at the chalet, warmed up, and quickly eat lunch knowing that a cold battery in the snow will not last long. I had decided to borrow my lady friend’s phone to call myself when I got back to the spot where I fell.

What were the chances that buried in the snow the phone would get a signal, and I would hear it ring?

I weighed the efforts to ski there and back, I was tired, as I had already made the rounds that morning at Albion. This loop was an extra one, to test my new skate skies. Also, the chances of finding it in my mind were slim, maybe 20%, as I had done a thorough search.

As well, it must have been -15C that day and my GPS phone tracking app was still running, draining a cold battery quickly.

Should I write my phone off as a loss?

Well…off I went, I had to try quickly to call myself. The first thing was to find a shortcut to not suffer those damn hills four times over. Scrutinizing a paper trail map, I saw a way around. A little bushwacking never slowed me down.

I made it back in hast to the spot and as I was taking my skis off, I stepped on my phone!  What luck, I did not have to do any more sleuthing to find it. There it was my SONY cell phone, happy to see me, under my ski buried in the snow.

Had it been skied over by others while I was gone and damaged, thankful no? It was just a bit further on the path than where I had fallen.

phone lost in snow
I found my phone!…I was standing on it.


The message was loud and clear from this lucky incident.
You can lose stuff in the snow very easily and you may never find it!!

When your phone, car keys, glasses, wallet, camera, jewelry… go missing in all that white stuff, good luck finding it.

So the next time you venture out into Ontario’s winter wonderland, secure your valuables. Either leave them safe back at the trailhead or carry them in a safe spot. A zippered pocket is best (I have less faith in velcro) and not an open pouch, knapsack or pant pocket. And like I should have done, take the time to zip it back up.

Have a backup plan if stuff gets lost/stolen/broken.

What would you do?
Work out that plan before it happens.

Back up your phone data, and have a spare key for your car, and emergency cash. Can you leave a key with another ski buddy? Can they drive you home if you get hurt? Things happen on the trails when you least expect them. I’m relieved and glad I did find my phone.


btw – I am still looking for that lost “misplaced” house key hmmm …
should I go back in the spring to look for it?


Dan Roitner

Here is another Tale from the Trails – On One Ski to the Hot Tub

February 25, 2014No comments

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