Stories inspire, and stories can also move you to create your own story. Where hiking is concerned, stories of other climbers can teach you a lesson or two and even help you gain more respect for mountains and nature.
With that being said, here are four eye-popping and stirring stories about hiking.
This 74-year-old lady is the oldest woman to have hiked through the the entire length of the Appalachian Trail. The entire trip took about 6 months to finish, with Reisinger sustaining one injury after tripping and falling at some point on the trail.
“I wanted to finish my section hike when I was 70 years old and it didn’t happen,” she said. “We were on a hike at Harper’s Ferry last summer and Carolyn found out that the oldest woman was 71. She said, ‘you could to that, and you cannot wait.’ I always wanted to do that and thought, ‘I can beat that.’”
She credited her success to “good genetics,” among other factors. It also helps that she has an active lifestyle.
“I’m blessed with good health; everyone doesn’t have good health,” she explained. “I think people should be up and do things, but I understand. I take no medication. I have nothing wrong. My mother is 96 and she has nothing wrong with her either.”
The film “127 Hours” was based on Ralston’s ordeal on the Blue John Canyon in Utah. What he thought would just be a fun day trip – he didn’t even tell anyone where he went – became a nightmare for the avid outdoorsman. He ended up amputating his right arm after it was pinned down by an 800-pound boulder. He had no more water to drink and had not taken in food for 5 days. He finally managed to escape the canyon and got help from hikers.
The 35-year-old Megee was described as looking like “a walking skeleton” when he was found by farm workers on the edge of the Tanami Desert on the Australian Outback. He was lost in the Outback for three months and survived on lizards, grasshoppers, raw frogs, and leeches.
“But the only thing I really sort of had to cook was the frogs,” he explained. “I slipped them on to a bit of wire and stuck the wire on top of my humpy, let the sun dry them out a fair bit until they were a bit crispy and then just ate them.”
It wasn’t clear how Megee got lost, although the event had something to do with a broken-down car.
“It’s a bit unclear what the trouble was with the car, and why he ended up off the road,” cattle station manager Mark Clifford said. “He’s walked for about 10 days to get to where he is before he’s realized that he’s got to set himself up some shelter and start trying to get some food into himself. He basically sat where he was for about 10 weeks.”
Chhiring Dorje Sherpa and Pasang Lama
“Oxygen depletion had turned Chhiring’s mind to mush. Hunger and exhaustion had broken his body. When he opened his mouth, his tongue froze; when he gasped for breath, the moistureless air scoured his throat and lashed his eyes.”
This description is just part of a narrative published in a novel, “Buried in the Sky,” that recounted two Sherpa’s story of survival while guiding climbers to the summit of K2, the second highest mountain in the world. It’s also known as one of the most dangerous peaks in the world.
On a fateful day in August 2008, 11 mountaineers perished after an avalanche wiped out the fixed lines that the climbers relied on to descend the peak safely. However, Chhiring and Pasang were able to return to camp after a daring rescue and feat of survival, which involved Chhiring relying on his ice ax to climb down while Pasang hung from him on a tether.
Typically, mountaineers are expected to be self-sufficient. As such, Chhiring saving the life of another climber on such a dangerous peak has since been called an “