On February 6th, 2004, Eric LeMarque, an expert snowboarder, set off for the top of 12,000-foot Mammoth Mountain in California’s vast Sierra Nevada mountain range. He was wearing only a long sleeve shirt, a thin wool hat, the shells of his snowboarding pants and a light-weight jacket. He had only four pieces of gum with him. He found himself chest high in snow, plunging into the wilderness. By nightfall, he knew he was in an intense fight for his life.
Surviving eight days in sub-freezing temperatures, Eric earned the name ‘The Miracle Man’ as he stunned the National Guard Black Hawk Chopper rescuers. His survival story includes harrowing adversity, dramatic change, and inspiring hope. Through the power of faith and clever ingenuity, Eric’s faith in Christ is restored and he achieves the ultimate triumph of survival.
6 BELOW: Miracle on the Mountain is a wonderful movie based on the incredible true story of professional hockey player Eric LeMarque. He survives – physically and spiritually – after being stranded atop the High Sierra Nevada mountains for eight days. He is forced to face his past and rediscovers his faith as he struggles to survive. With its outstanding cinematography and acting, this movie opens in select theaters nationwide & VOD on October 13th. The film is directed by Scott Waugh, best known for directing Act of Valor (2012).
Actor Josh Hartnett (Black Hawk Down, Pearl Harbor) powerfully performs as Eric in this riveting movie. Academy Award®-winner actress Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite), captures hearts, as she plays the role of his mother who intensely fights for Eric’s life with him, with others, and in prayer.
Sonoma Christian Home sat down with the real-life hero of this story, Eric LeMarque, for a penetrating, insightful interview. SCH Editor At Large Dr. Diane Howard reports.
SCH: How did you encounter God on the mountain?
EL: By mistake – I fell to my knees and cried out.
SCH: What have you learned about God?
EL: He wants to have a relationship with us.
SCH: What have you learned about human relationships?
EL: Life is about relationships and taking time with others to develop those relationships.
SCH: What did the experience teach you about family?
EL: It is not about you. It is about living for others and respecting them. It is important to avoid what damages others. Live in the present in the family. Acknowledge each who comes into a room. Don’t take anyone in your family for granted.
SCH: Where did you find the strength to survive?
EL: I have learned that the human will is surprisingly strong, but that strength in Christ is much greater and more excellent.
SCH: Did you find yourself contemplating the meaning in life through this experience?
EL: There is a divine purpose that involves relationships with others.
SCH: How did the relationship with your mother impact your survival?
EL: Mothers have great love for their children. They would give their lives for them. My mother was kind and a tremendous support, but she also demanded excellence of me.
SCH: What have you learned about redemption?
EL: I have learned that there is always a new day, second chance. Redemption in Christ is new every day. God allowed me to lose my feet but He gave me new feet and set me on rock from which I have greater eternal influence and significance.
SCH: Can you share with our readers the source of your inner joy?
EL: The fear of the Lord enables me to be connected to Him and then to others. This is the greatest joy.
“Eric LeMarque’s journey is powerful, inspirational and life-changing story. His near-death experience of being stranded in a winter wilderness for 8 days, injured and without food, is a spell-binding adventure that will captivate both youth and adult audiences. And just when he has an audience on the edge of their seat, he brings in the elements of conversion and faith in a way that even the most hardened non-believers will open up and listen to. Sharing the Gospel requires stories that are emotionally charged. People today – especially our youth – are so hard to reach because of all the distractions and stimuli. Eric is one who can cut through that and capture an audience, and once he’s done so, his testimony of faith in Jesus Christ can enter into and change people’s hearts.” – Pastor Mel Ayres, In His Presence Church, Los Angeles, CA
“We’re thrilled to bring this event to fans nationwide and further strengthen Fathom’s inspiring collection of faith-based content,” Fathom Events CEO Ray Nutt said. “Not only will viewers get to witness the impressive cinematography on the big screen, but they’ll be moved by LeMarque’s story and encouraged to carry what they learn beyond the movie theater.”
“I’m so excited about partnering with Fathom Events to bring this story to audiences nationwide for a one-night only special event,” said director Scott Waugh. “This story is near and dear to my heart, not only because I made it with a first class cast and crew, but because I’ve known Eric for years and am in awe with his tale of survival and path to recovery. The themes of hope and never giving up will resonate with every member of the family and we can’t wait to share it with audiences.”
Presented by Fathom Events, in partnership with Tucker Tooley Entertainment and Sonar Entertainment, 6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain will be shown in cinemas nationwide for a one-night-only special event on Thursday, October 12 at 7:00 p.m. local time. After the film, audiences will hear from the film as cast, crew and LeMarque talk about how they hope to inspire others with this true-life story of determination to overcome the forces within and the forces of nature.
The movie opens in more than 450 select movie theaters from Fathom Digital Broadcast Network. nationwide on October 12 & VOD on October 13th. Tickets & a complete list of theater locations can be found at the movie’s website.
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To learn more about this author, please visit Dr. Diane Howard