Woman Found Alive After Hiking 26 Miles in Frozen Tundra To Save Family
Over the past few days, the story of Karen Klein has captivated people all over the world. Karen hiked 26 miles and was missing for more than a day after setting off to find help after her family was stranded in the middle of the frozen wilderness.
Karen was on vacation in Las Vegas with her husband, Eric, and 10-year old son, Isaac, when they decided to take a trip to the north rim of the Grand Canyon. However, the roads there are closed during the winter, and in the middle of a blizzard, the family’s rental car got stuck in a ditch.
With no cell phone service, Karen set off to find help. As an avid hiker and runner with experience in the outdoors, she thought she could battle the elements and find help. But she soon found herself lost in the wilderness, facing freezing temperatures and forced to eat twigs to survive.
When Karen didn’t return and no sign of help arrived, Eric decided to set off in the opposite direction, and after a 15-mile hike, he was able to call 911. But by the time Eric and Isaac were rescued, there was still no sign of Karen.
More than a day after she set off for help, Karen was found in a cabin suffering from frostbite. She was airlifted to a hospital in Utah, where her recovery continues. Had Karen not been found when she was, an impending snow storm would have made it impossible for rescue workers to reach her.
After being rescued, Karen said that at one point she took her shoe off and couldn’t get it back on, walking several miles without a show on her foot. She also pulled a muscle in her leg that made it even more difficult to keep going. But her will to survive persevered.
“I can’t leave my son without a mom,” Karen said afterwards. “I can’t leave my husband without a wife. I’m not letting my parents bury me. I was determined that this is not how my life is going to end.”
Karen is now facing the possibility of amputation to treat her frostbitten extremities, but just being alive after her long ordeal is far more important. “In the grand scheme of things,” Klein says, “I keep thinking: ‘You know what? It’s a few toes. Don’t worry about it.'”