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Injured B.C. Hiker Survives 8 Days in New Zealand Wilderness

New Zealand

A hiker from British Columbia is now safely at home after surviving a near-death fall in the New Zealand wilderness.

While on a two-week hiking trip in the wilds of New Zealand, 64-year-old Gregory Ross made it through a devastating survival situation. He spent eight days in agonizing pain after a fall that nearly took his life.

Ross is an experienced hiker who lives in the Quadra Islands and has traveled around the world exploring new places. In April he decided to take a trip back to his home country of New Zealand to hike trails near Hokitika that he helped blaze nearly 32 years ago. He assumed not much had changed since those days, but he was wrong.

The familiar trail he was hiking up soon changed and he became confused. While trying to regain course, he slipped on the steep and muddy alpine slope. He tumbled down the trail until his wrist was caught up in a tree, instantly jerking him to a halt and dislocating his shoulder.

After freeing himself and getting to safety, he spent two days in the blistering cold lying in his sleeping bag trying to stay warm. He soon remembered there was hut further up the trail that offered water and protection from the weather. Knowing a friend who was waiting for him to return wasn’t expecting him for seven more days, he made the decision to leave his gear behind and head for the hut.

It took Ross six hours to make what would normally be a 40-minute hike up the trail. He stayed in the hut until his friend reported him missing and crews eventually rescued him after eight days.

Ross suffered severe nerve damage to his hand from the fall, but is now safely home. He plans to continue hiking and not let the experience deter him from his travels.

An important reminder to everyone who goes out on even a day hike is to let someone know where you are going and when you will return. Thanks to Ross doing so, it saved his life.

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Injured B.C. Hiker Survives 8 Days in New Zealand Wilderness