When we talk about hiking, we usually touch on the most exciting parts. Rarely do we hear about the danger that could potentially befall hikers until tragedy strikes.
Earlier today, police in New Zealand rescued a Czech tourist who survived for a month in the freezing wilderness after her partner fell to his death. According to Mashable, the woman and her husband began their 20-mile hike on July 26, and should have completed it about three days later. But Inspector Olaf Jensen told reporters that the couple got lost after trail markers became buried beneath deep snow. Two days into their confused excursion, the man fell down a steep slope and died. His wife spent the next three nights outdoors in the freezing cold until she arrived at a hut and broke in.
Rescue workers were alerted by Czech officials that the couple were missing about a month after they began their hike. Police in New Zealand promptly began a search and found the couple’s car at the head of Routeburn Track. They sent a helicopter along and found the woman at the hut she’d broken into. She was frostbitten and, obviously, distraught, but otherwise relatively healthy.
Though ordinarily a popular and enjoyable hike during the warmer months, Routeburn Track can become treacherous between June and August. Few hikers opt to make the pass, which is why the “H” inscribed in the snow outside the hut by the Czech tourist went unnoticed.
Officials in New Zealand will attempt to recover the body of the Czech man who fell later today.