Friday, May 17, 2013
Alaska Troopers Rescue Man From 'Into the Wild' Trek
A hiker returning from the “Into the Wild” bus near Healy was airlifted out of the wild Wednesday morning after he got stuck on the far side of the Teklanika River.
FAIRBANKS — A hiker returning from the “Into the Wild” bus near Healy was airlifted out of the wild Wednesday morning after he got stuck on the far side of the Teklanika River.
According to Alaska State Troopers, Tennessee resident Phillip Brian Shoup, 53, crossed the river Aug. 11. But the river was impassable when he tried to cross back two days later.
“The technicality of the hike and river crossing was beyond his physical ability,” trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters said.
Shoup and two Spanish hiking companions in their 20s stayed on the far side of the river for four days until one of his companions who had the physical ability to cross went to Healy to get help.
The Tri-Valley Fire Department sent a chartered ERA Aviation helicopter, which recovered Shoup and a hiking companion who had stayed behind. Shoup was treated and released.
The old Fairbanks city bus has become a popular destination since the popularity of the “Into the Wild” book and movie that chronicled the life of Virginia resident Chris McCandless, who starved to death in the bus in 1992 after living in it by himself for a summer.
Like Shoup, McCandless had trouble recrossing the Teklanika and opted to return to the bus.
Contact staff writer Sam Friedman at 459-7545.