Hiker Dies Trekking to Into the Wild Bus

Aug 26, 2010
Outside Magazine

A 29-year-old Swiss woman drowned while trying to cross the Teklaneka river en route to the old Fairbanks city bus made famous in the book Into the Wild. Chris McCandless lived out of the bus in the Alaskan backcountry before his death.

Claire Jane Ackerman was crossing the river when she was pulled under by the current and drowned. High levels on the river kept McCandless from crossing back to civilization. Above, we've embedded an old video of some hikers who found crossing the river to be much harder than they imagined.

"Honestly, I'm amazed this hasn't happened earlier," local lodge owner John Nierenberg told the Anchorage Daily News.

Search and rescue workers have been called in to rescue people en route to the bus several times over the last few years according to the Anchorage Daily News.

"Everybody has noticed an increase (in the number of hikers going to the bus) in the last three years," said Richard Moore, north district ranger for Denali National Park and Preserve. There is "general concern" because many of the people hiking to the bus are inexperienced in the Alaska backcountry, he said.

"We try to give information to people and tell them that they should be prepared and educated about how to travel in the backcountry," Moore said.

Read the full story in this Anchorage Daily News article.

--Joe Spring

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