Hiker found after surviving for a month in hut on snow-bound mountain trail

A tourist has been found in a remote hut in the mountains of New Zealand where she waited a month to be rescued after her hiking partner fell to his death. The Czech woman was discovered living in the warden’s hut on the snowed-in Routeburn Track, a renowned trek across the country’s Southern Alps. The survivor, said to be in her early 30s, was in reasonable health but was taken to hospital for treatment for minor injuries, frostbite and possible hypothermia. “She’s undergone quite a traumatic experience,” police chief Inspector Olaf Jensen said. “It’s obviously a very unusual case given the length of time that the female was at the hut.”

Given her experience and the avalanche risk, she decided it was best for her safety to remain in the hut, and that was the correct decision to make

Insp Olaf Jensen

The woman, whose identity has not been released, started walking the route on July 24 but her partner fell down a steep slope four days later. She managed to reach him but he died not long after. Although there had been heavy snow in the area, the woman spent three nights in the open before finding the hut which had food, gas and firewood, and where she had sheltered since early August. She fashioned a letter “H’‘for help in the snow outside but hikers were avoiding the route and nobody came. Eventually, she was spotted by a police helicopter flying along the route.

Sometimes there might be leftover food in the warden’s quarters, but that’s not necessarily so. It’d be unlikely there’d be food in the main hut.

Hiker Barry Walker says he’s amazed the woman survived