Miracle in the Andes: Rugby Players Eating Rugby Players

Whenever I go backpacking with friends, the conversation occasionally comes around to who we’d have to eat if a storm blew in and we became stranded.  It’s been generally accepted that my buddy Kevin would be too gamey, so he’s out.  And I’m a little too lean to provide any type of worthwhile sustenance, so I’m at the bottom of the list as well.  So I got that going for me.

Such horror became reality for a Uruguayan rugby squad and their family and friends when the plane they were traveling on crashed into the Andes in 1972.  Of course, the tragedy was made into the bestselling book Alive and later, a popular movie.  The book was written by a journalist, however.  It’s a fascinating read and rather gory at times, but nonetheless put together by an outsider who was not there.

Now, for the first time, one of the survivors has penned an account of his own experience on the mountaintop. Nando Parrado, who lost his mother and sister in the crash, has waited 34 years to tell his story of what happened during those 72 days of freezing, starving, and… eating.  This harsh reality of what really happens when a plane crashes makes Lost look like some absurdist fairy tale. 

Outside Magazine has printed an introductory excerpt of Miracle in the Andes which you can find here.  The book itself was released May 9th so check your local bookstore.