0

Czech tourist reveals how she survived 30-day ordeal in New Zealand mountains

?>

Pavlina Pizova tells of enduring the death of her partner, sleeping three nights in the open and how attempts to walk back to safety were thwarted by poor weather and avalanches

Pavlina Pizova, the Czech tourist who survived a month in the New Zealand wilderness, has told how she endured three nights in the open in freezing winter conditions before managing to find shelter at a mountain hut.

Pizova, 33, and her partner Ondrej Petr, 27, began hiking the famous Routeburn track in Fiordland National Park in the South Island on 26 July.

But two days after starting out in freezing mid-winter conditions the pair become lost and disoriented due to fog and heavy snow, she told a press conference in Queenstown on Friday, and wandered off the main track.

The couple spent one night in the open and the next day, according to Pizova, Petr slipped, fell down a steep slope and died shortly afterwards.

The conditions were extreme, we encountered heavy snow fall and low cloud which contributed to our enforced overnighting in the open which affected our plans to reach Lake McKenzie Hut, Pizova said at press conference dressed in hiking boots and hiking clothes.

Pizova speaks at the press conference in Queenstown on Friday 26 August.

In our attempt to reach the hut the tragic accident happened when my partner fell and died, she said.

Pizova then spent two more nights exposed to the elements, including heavy snow and below freezing conditions, as she struggled to find the hut which lies on the 32km track.

Pavlina
Pavlina Pizova and Ondrej Petr. The couple began hiking the famous Routeburn track in Fiordland National Park in New Zealands South Island on 26 July 2016. Pizova survived a month in the wild after they became lost and Petr fell to his death. Photograph: NZ Police

Pizovas translator, Vladka Kennett, said she did not understand how Pizova survived without shelter but that Pizova had told her that she stuffed her sleeping bag with everything she had to stay warm and massaged her feet continuously.

She is an extremely tough woman, said Kennett, who is the Czech honorary consul in Queenstown.

After two nights in the open Pizova managed to find her way way to Lake Mackenzie Hut, a distance of 2km. Pizova said the short trip took so long because of poor visibility, exhaustion and her frozen feet.

Routeburn track

She first explored the public 50-bed facility, before climbing through a window into the smaller wardens hut , which was better supplied and more comfortable.

Pizova had food, firewood and gas to stay warm. There was also a mountain radio but Pizova was unable to understand the English instructions for operating it.

At the hut, considering my physical health, the deep snow conditions, knowing there were avalanche paths ahead of me, I knew it was best to stay in the safe place, said Pizova.

A
A view from the Routeburn track. Pavlina Pizova and Ondrej Petr began hiking the route before losing their way and Petr slipped to his death. Photograph: NZ Police

I made a few attempts to walk out from the hut, but my feet, the weather conditions and the deep snow discouraged me from doing so. At the hut I saw numerous avalanches coming down.

During her month-long stay at Lake Mackenzie Pizova attempted to fashion a pair of snow shoes from hiking poles and wood. She also drew an H in the snow (for help), which she inked with ash from the fire, to try and attract the attention of helicopters flying overhead.

The pair had not told anyone about their hiking plans and it was almost a month before the Czech consulate finally raised the alarm. Police found the couples car at the trailhead on Wednesday and sent a helicopter along the route, reaching Pizova at 1.30pm.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/26/czech-tourist-reveals-how-she-survived-30-day-ordeal-in-new-zealand-mountains

Filed in: Affordable Individual Health Insurance Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
?>

Get Updates

Share This Post

Related Posts

© 2017 Top Insurance Health. All rights reserved.