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

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.

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