After Partner Dies on Trail, Woman Survives Month Alone

New Zealand authorities say she was trapped by snow
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2016 7:41 AM CDT
After Partner Dies on Trail, Woman Survives Month in Cabin
This April 2014 photo shows the unique landscape along the Routeburn Track in New Zealand. It takes up to 4 days to make the trek.   (AP Photo/Carey J. Williams)

A bizarre story of survival out of New Zealand: Authorities say a woman survived for a month in a remote cabin after her partner was killed during a wintry hike in the mountains, reports the Guardian. Police say the Czech couple, in their late 20s or early 30s, began hiking the Routeburn Track, which takes up to four days to complete, on July 24 but soon became disorientated in the snow and freezing weather. The woman told police through a translator that her partner fell from a slope two days later, and while she was able to reach him, he died shortly after, reports She says she made it back to a camping station four days later near Lake Mackenzie and broke into the warden's cabin, where she looted food and supplies, and made a large H in the snow with ashes from a fire.

The woman says she feared trying to hike out from there given the heavy snow and her own debilitated condition. Help took a while to arrive, however: The couple hadn't registered their hike, so authorities had no clue they were missing. Finally, worried family members back home began posting on social media, and word circulated to the Czech consulate in New Zealand. A search party found their car and then the woman, about four weeks after the hike began. A local police inspector says it's "highly unusual" that she went undetected for so long, even though it's winter. "If no one's been in there because of the snow, I can see how it could happen," says the president of a local hiking group. She is recuperating, and authorities are planning to retrieve her partner's body. (A lost dad and his three kids made it to safety after two nights in the wilderness.)

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