Aldo Braito, 71, left his home in Daiano, in the northern region of Trentino-Alto Adige, on the morning of July 30th to go for a hike in the Lagorai mountain range.
“I wanted to spend a beautiful day in the Lagorai, by the lakes of Bombasel, an area I know like the back of my hand, because I worked for ten years as a cow farmer,” the pensioner told Trentino Corriere Alpi.
“I took my bag with lunch and a snack and went up with my trekking poles on the Cermis cable car.”
However, at some point the pensioner found himself in a steep, inaccessible area after moving east to pick some mountain pine buds to make syrup, and lost the trail.
He then slipped, banging his head and hurting his legs.
“I ended up in a small ravine from which I couldn't go back. It had also started to rain and the grass was wet. I spent the first night in that hole standing up with an umbrella.”
The next day, the pensioner couldn't stand and had to move on all fours. He tried to alert emergency services but had no reception on his phone.
“I screamed for help for hours with all the force I had in my throat, but no one heard me,” he said.
Having exhausted his food supplies, the pensioner used his botanical knowledge to stay alive by eating wood sorrel and bark.
Thanks to the bark, Braito, who is diabetic, was able to regulate his blood sugar level.
After spending a total of nine days and nine nights out in the open, he was finally able to pull himself out of the gully where he had slipped on Saturday.
He was then rescued later that day by Giulio Delladio di Tesero, who drove him to the Croce Bianca (White Cross), an emergency medical association, in Tesero.
The pensioner is now being treated in a hospital in the town of Cavalese.