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Walking, Hiking & Trail Running

Two Hikers In Alaska Rescued After Their Pilgrimage To The Abandoned ‘Into The Wild’ Bus Goes Wrong

The place where Chris McCandless died has become an obsession for many adventurers.

Pictured: Chris McCandless with the bus within which his body was later discovered.

Released in 2007, ‘Into The Wild’ stunned audiences and critics alike with its powerful message of adventure. Based on John Krakauer’s non-fiction book about Chris McCandless, who left his life behind to travel round the United States, the film starred Emile Hirsch and was directed by Sean Penn. The film’s main focus was McCandless’ journey into the Alaskan wilderness, in 1992, where he attempted to live off the land.

Almost four months after setting off into the wild terrain of Alaska, McCandless’ body was found by hunters in a converted bus on the eastern bank of the Sushana River. The cause of death was officially ruled to be starvation, although the exact circumstances remain unclear. In one of the film’s most distressing moments, McCandless (played by Hirsch) discovers he’s eaten a poisonous plant that if left untreated will lead to starvation and death.

Pictured: Emile Hirsch, star of the 2007 film Into The Wild.

The iconic bus within which McCandless’ remains were discovered has, because of the film’s popularity, become a place of pilgrimage for adventurers over the years. Ongoing obsession with the spot has thrown up a number of safety concerns from park officials, and the latest incident, in which two hikers had to be rescued from it, has only underlined their anxieties.

Michael Trigg, a 25-year-old from Lexington, and Theodore Aslund, a 27-year-old from Atlanta, were hiking back from their visit to the bus when they attempted to save some time by crossing the powerful Teklanika river. This decision almost cost them their lives but, fortunately, the pair were able to get back to the river bank.

After indicating their decision to visit the bus in an earlier Facebook post, a rescue effort was initiated when they failed to return on time. 24 people were dispatched to the location, along with a helicopter, and Trigg and Aslund were eventually discovered in good condition.

Pictured: The bus from Into The Wild receives numerous visitors every year (Credit: StampedeTrail.info).
Pictured: The abandoned bus made famous by Into The Wild (Credit: city-data.com).

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