Tramper survived for a month

A woman was found today on the Routeburn Track in Fiordland National Park. She had survived for a month in a hut. Her partner had died after a fall a month ago.

The Routeburn Track is one of New Zealand’s Great Walks. Usually, nobody walks that track during the winter because it crosses a mountain. The Track starts near Queenstown and finishes on the road to Milford Sound. Trampers usually take 3 or 4 days to walk that track in spring, summer, or autumn staying at huts on the way.

The woman and her partner were from the Czech Republic. Perhaps they did not know this was a dangerous walk in winter with snow and possible avalanches. They did not tell anyone of their plan to walk the Routeburn Track so nobody knew they were missing. It is possible, though, that their families knew about these plans.

They started the track on July 26th from the Queenstown end. On the second day, her partner slipped and fell down a steep slope. When she climbed down to him, she found he was dead. She then walked for 3 days looking for shelter and finally broke into a hut. This hut had a warden’s room with some food and firewood.

Yesterday, the Czech consul realized they were missing and then their car was found at the beginning of the track. A helicopter started to search. The pilot saw the words “HELP” written in the snow and saw her waving. She was rescued and was in good physical condition; however, she has had a traumatic experience.


• hut – basic accommodation with beds and cooking facilities
• avalanche – snow slide
• shelter – somewhere safe from the cold weather
• broke into – maybe broke the lock on the door or broke a window
• warden – a person who looks after the hut
• consul – a diplomat who represents their country in our country
• traumatic – severe stressful experience

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