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Backpacker Magazine – October 2008

When Disaster Strikes! 5 True Survival Stories

Read these real-life tales from five survivors who made it out alive, and learn what they did wrong–and right.

by: Steve Howe

(Illustrations by Nathan Fox)
(Illustrations by Nathan Fox)

Crushed by a boulder. Lost in a blizzard. Sucked into a raging river. When it comes to backcountry disasters, even experienced hikers sometimes find that a minor blunder can quickly become a full-blown survival situation. The best way to avoid the same fate? Read these real-life tales from five survivors who made it out alive, and learn what they did wrong–and right.

Caught in a Colorado Snowstorm
An autumn climb turns life-threatening when a hiker endures a night in a whiteout at 12,000 feet in the Rockies.

Lost in the Olympics
A gym teacher's speed hike becomes a five-day bushwhack.

Fighting Death on Mt. Foraker
Stunned by the loss of his friends, a stranded climber struggles down one of Alaska's toughest peaks.

Man Versus Rock
A staged photo op in the Tetons results in a near-crushing.

Headfirst Down the McKinley
A sudden swim in a glacier-fed river nearly finishes a ranger.



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