Five people rescued during dangerous Alaskan hike back from "Into the Wild" bus

Every year, adventurous (and oft-unprepared) hikers who are fans of Jon Krakauer's book "Into the Wild" (1996) or the move based upon it attempt the treacherous 20 mile trek on Alaska's Stampede Trail to the abandoned bus where Chris McCandless found refuge (until his death) in 1992. And frequently, hikers making the pilgrimage have to be rescued. Two people have died during their trips to see the bus. Just a few days ago, an emergency crew had to rescue five Italian hikers who were returning back from the "magic bus." From NBC News:

One of the hikers had frostbite to his feet and was transported to Fairbanks for treatment, DeSpain said. The hiker’s injuries are not considered life-threatening. The other four hikers were picked up by friends in Healy.

Rescuers were alerted by the hikers with a satellite-based emergency device that notified the International Emergency Response Coordination Center of a medical emergency, troopers said. That international group then notified rescuers, who reached the site by snowmobile, DeSpain said.

Families of some of those who died are now behind a proposal before Denali Borough for a feasibility study for construction of a footbridge over the Teklanika (river, the most dangerous point in the hike)...

As far as (borough Mayor Clay Walker) is concerned, a better solution would be to remove the bus. “The fact that the bus is there raises that attraction level,” he said

image: "Hikers take a break at Bus 142 on the Stampede Trail" by Erik Halfacre (CC BY-SA 3.0) Read the rest

Three mountain lions killed after eating mystery human remains

Arizona Game and Fish Department killed three mountain lions after at least one of them ate human remains near the Pima Canyon hiking trail near Tucson. The mountain lions did not kill the person and their identity and cause-of-death is still under investigation. Many people were displeased that the mountain lions were killed. From KOLD:

...Arizona Game and Fish consulted with national experts on mountain lions before making the final decision.

“I can tell you that the lions tore the clothes off the victim,” (Arizona Game and Fish Department spokesman Mark) Hart said. “That is an indication that they had figured out that a human being clothed is food.”

Game and fish successfully relocated a mountain lion in 2004 but in this case, the situation was different.

The lions had eaten human flesh, which is unusual, so relocating them may not make difference.

Lions can easily travel a hundred miles or more.

“If we found the best place we could put them, there’s always a risk that type of behavior would remain,” Hart said. And if they wandered back into a community “that would be catastrophic.”

image: "North American cougar (Puma concolor couguar) in Glacier National Park in the U.S. state of Montana" by National Park Service (Public Domain) Read the rest

Stranded family saved by message in a bottle

This summer, Curtis Whitson, his girlfriend, and 13-year-old son were hiking in Central California when they became stranded in a canyon near a waterfall with no way out. According to KSBW, "Whitson said he had rope to rappel down, but the river was running too swift and deep due to spring runoff. Backtracking was also not an option." Whitson found a green plastic water bottle, carved "HELP" in the side, put in a note, and tossed it over the waterfall. From CNN:

Some time after midnight the trio was awakened by the sound of a California Highway Patrol helicopter overhead.

"This is Search and Rescue. You have been found," someone said over the loudspeaker.

Whitson said he was told two men found the bottle with the family's note, floated down to the trailhead, then hiked a couple of miles and reached the campground where they alerted the camp host.

That host told Whitson about the hikers, but added the two left before the rescue without giving their names.

Read the rest

Cool profile of Canadian wilderness photographer

Stevin Tuchiwsky survived cancer as a child, which he says motivated him to become a renowned nature photographer. Read the rest

Hiker timelapse wearing out shoes hiking from Mexico to Canada

Andrew Holzschuh took a photo of his shoes every day as he hiked the Pacific Coast Trail, then made a fun timelapse of his shoes' daily wear and tear.

Many hikers forgo hiking boots for trail runners on a well-marked trail like this. Eagle-eyed viewers who know the trail picked up on a detour, to which Andrew replied:

We were forced to skip like 15 miles of trail at crater lake because of forest fires (because it would have been illegal and stupid to walk a section of trail that's on fire) we also had to backtrack here and there for random reasons. to be honest I dont know how many miles we actually walked. but I think it might have ended up being more than the 2663.5

Bonus video: he also grew an impressive beard.

4 pairs of shoes (PCT thru-hike shoe time-lapse) Read the rest

Death-defying wooden cliff path gets scarier as it goes

If your palms are too dry, this helmetcam from the Mount Huashan plank path might help. Best part? It's a two-way path, so one hiker has to swing out and around anyone going the other way. Read the rest

John Muir Trail Adventure Journal: Day One

Boing Boing reader Tom Fassbender says: "On June 10, 2012 (one year ago) I embarked on a 13-day solo hike of the 212-mile John Muir Trail. My memories of those days are still very vivid. To commemorate, I'm posting my trail journal, one day at a time, with photos, warts and all." Read the rest