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Well I’ve survived my first real mishap in the bush. After spending a day crossing the Timaru River at least a dozen times without a problem, I managed to get myself in a bit of a pickle. Once I finished my last crossing, I was headed towards Stody’s Hut, a tough 2 km uphill trek. When I say uphill, I mean it was a gain of 400 meters over 1.5 km of trail. That’s about a 30% grade!

Just before that uphill started, there was a final creek to cross. Without a backpack on, I’m confident I could’ve crossed in a single leap. But, like all water crossings, I sized up my options and planned my route. It should’ve been three simple steps. I’m still not sure what happened, but on step number two, my foot slipped and I found myself wedged between a rock and a fallen log.

It took me about half an hour to extricate myself from my predicament, and about an hour to rest and assess my condition. A few bumps and bruises but nothing seemed broken. I tried to press on to the hut but I was simply too tired. Given the slope of the hill, I couldn’t find a place to pitch my tent. So, I spent the night camping cowboy style.

The next morning I knew I was in a bit of trouble. My leg was sore and I was struggling to walk even short distances without a rest break. In an hour and a half, I managed to cover about a kilometer and met two trampers who were taking a shorter route out of the valley that was not labeled on my maps. I spoke with them and they agreed to let me tag along with them.

After about an hour, I realized I wasn’t going to make it out in one day. I spoke to my rescuing angels and they agreed to hike out and send back help. I gave them my GPS coordinates and they headed the 12 km out to the road and out of the backcountry. I found a shady spot in a grassy area and waited for rescue.

I want to say thank you to Petra and Elena. Without their help, it would’ve taken me 3-4 days to get myself out of my situation. With rain in the forecast and more river crossings ahead, those would’ve been very dangerous days for me.

I always try to be careful in the backcountry. Accidents do happen. I’m glad I was prepared to weather the storm but I’m grateful I did not have to. I’m taking a week off in Wanaka, walking every day and working on getting back on the trail. I’m ready to continue my adventure!

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4 comments on “Rescue

  1. Baldy says:

    I hope the injury sorts itself quickly. Thank goodness it wasn’t too serious.


    1. hikerjohnd says:

      The leg is just sore. My bruises have turned a lovely shade of purple and my pride is slowly regaining strength! I’ve been enjoying walks around Lake Wanaka to build up strength and am planning shorter days for my return to the trail!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So glad you made it out OK. Yes, I’ve found that there are many guardian angels in hiking areas. Good people are out there for sure.


    1. hikerjohnd says:

      Amen! These two angels were the only people I saw all day!


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