Kanye’s ‘Don’t Die’ Lyric Comforts Stranded Skier Stuck in California Mountains Overnight

34-year-old Mike Petkov said he kept singing Kanye and Ty Dolla Sign's "Beg Forgiveness" to comfort him while stranded in the mountains overnight.

Snow-covered mountain with coniferous trees and a clear sky at dusk
George Rose via Getty Images
Snow-covered mountain with coniferous trees and a clear sky at dusk

A skier who found himself lost in the mountain ski area of Kirkwood in California has shared the story of his rescue and revealed that he kept singing a song from Kanye West and Ty Dolla Sign's Vultures 1 to keep himself sane.

In an interview with The San Francisco Chronicle, 34-year-old San Francisco man Mike Petkov broke down how he went off the trial map as he listened to Vultures 1 and found himself stranded. "I thought I was getting into one of those cool backside areas where, if I got stuck, I'd be fine," said Petkov, who was traversing Kirkwood just after the mountain was covered with sheets of fresh snow thanks to storms. "I purposefully didn't look at the trail map too much because I've had a lot of fun exploring [ski areas] and seeing where the day takes me."

Shortly after heading off-course, he found himself on a slope covered with untouched snow that reached as high as four feet. "Everything kept sinking. My boots kept getting snow in them," he added. It was at this point, that he gave up on his skis and poles and decided to descend the mountain by foot. He didn't have any service, but he was able to check a map on his phone and decided it was best if he continued to the nearest highway.

By the time the sun had set, he was able to get some cellphone reception and sent his coordinates to some of his friends so they could contact the appropriate authorities. A search crew set out that same night but struggled to make much progress outside of the California Highway Patrol's helicopter, which spotted Petkov from above but was unable to land due to the rough terrain.

He was told via text that he needed to make camp for the night, as they couldn't recover him until the next day. Temperatures reached as low as the teen range by midnight. But it was Ye and Ty Dolla Sign's "Beg Forgiveness," which also features Chris Brown, that he thanks for keeping him going.

The lyrics from the song that kept circling in his head, in particular, were, "You've gone too far and you should hang your head in shame," and the refrain, "Don't die / don't die." Petkov struggled to sleep through the night, but the song was a constant. "I kept singing that to myself all night, kind of as a humor thing more than a worrying thing," he added.

Thankfully, he made it through the night, hiked down closer to Silver Lake, and boarded the CHP helicopter. He made it back with no injuries. "I don't blame Kirkwood. I should have at least had a little bit of a plan and an outlook of the resort," Petkov said. "And then, just don't YOLO too much."

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