Five people rescued during dangerous Alaskan hike back from "Into the Wild" bus

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/02/25/five-people-rescued-during-dan.html

2 Likes

Maybe they could build a highway, couple hotels, and a train line or two. That would likely keep the hikers away.

16 Likes

“Hey, let’s hike out to where that guy died. I’m sure we’ll totally be OK.”

Or maybe just bring in a helicopter to haul the damn thing out, make it a tourist attraction in the center of town (and block off/disguise the trailhead so it’s more difficult to go out there.)

11 Likes

As far as (borough Mayor Clay Walker) is concerned, a better solution would be to remove the bus.

Roger That!

8 Likes

So, if an old bus could make in there how “treacherous” is the actual hike?

5 Likes

Having only seen the movie, it looks like at a certain time of year the hike is easy, but at other times there’s a raging river blocking your way back.

3 Likes

A 20 mile hike through Alaskan wilderness in February, with the current temperature being around -9F without factoring in wind chill. That’s some dedication to the McCandless experience!

11 Likes

Mayor Walker clearly doesn’t understand people. Tours of, for example, long vacated movie and tv sets are a thing (see: e.g. Forks, in Washington state). People will go to the site regardless. Build a damn bridge to make it a largely safe adventure, sell merch, and declare victory.

5 Likes

There’s obviously a period in which you can drive a school bus in.

3 Likes

My dad lived in Alaska for several years, including working for the Wildlife Dept. Remote areas, the kind where they say, “See you in three months when we can finally send in a plane with supplies.” kind of remote. But even stuff fairly close to civilization could be dangerous if you aren’t prepared for it. It’s a cold, harsh place.

6 Likes

Seems to me that an important bit of info is missing from this conversation. That is; how many people in the Alaskan wilderness wind up needing rescue in similar situations?

Are bus related rescues significantly more frequent than non-bus related rescues?

The Alaskans wilderness is a dangerous place and people are going to run into peril, I feel like this is a non-story.

4 Likes

Should have brought a skidoo.

That bus is one of the objects/sites I call “Idiot Magnets”. If there’s magic involved, it’s a curse that draws fools to them.

10 Likes

It’s a story because an idiot city boy who couldn’t find his ass with both hands dies out there, someone made a movie about it, and after seeing the movie about a dumb city boy dying out there, a bunch more city folks thought it would be awesome to go out there themselves, and needed to be rescued.

12 Likes

All Alaskan wilderness is no joke, but perhaps this one tends to attract people beyond their skill/preperation level?

3 Likes

McCandless was an experienced wilderness hiker and camper with a bunch of formal outdoor training. And he’d successfully taken months long canoe trips through some pretty out of the way places. And given the number of “country boys” I’ve known who got themselves in deep shit by over estimating their inborn outdoorsyness. I don’t think we really need the “real American” read on the situation.

What killed McCandless is the persistent fantasy that any amount of experience or preparation can make it feasible to go off alone and live long term or permanently in these sorts of wilderness spots. And that it’s all a valid or important thing to attempt.

Almost every documented case we have of this sort of thing ends in tragedy or harm. Or is greatly exaggerated. People don’t live in these places for a reason. People don’t survive for long periods in difficult environments on their own for a reason. People pick these spots specifically because they’re likely to kill you, assuming that they uniquely can succeed there. And that doing so will prove something.

It’s a suicidal fantasy.

That seems to be an issue. If memory serves the bus was a known landmark on an existing trail that was used somewhat regularly in the proper season. I think it was shepherds or logging or something. Not like a hiking or tourist trail, but a working one used to pass through. And it was mostly disused and less accessible by the time McCandless selected that area.

McCandless’s fame apparently attracts a significant number of recreational hikers, some of them with very little experience. And often at really inappropriate times of year.

So it is a trail that people safely follow, and it has been safer in the past.

12 Likes

Sounds like a great spot for Fyre 2.0.

7 Likes
4 Likes

I know a guy from Fairbanks who spent some time in the bus before McCandless. He claims that many of the notes Krakauer found in the margins of books left there were actually written by him.

8 Likes

“or the move based upon it”
Eidtor needed, STAT! (sic(

1 Like