FAIRBANKS, ALASKA — A second set of hikers this summer have had to be rescued after trying to reach a famed abandoned Fairbanks city bus in the Alaska wilderness, after the book and movie “Into the Wild” made the remote bus famous.
A group of three hikers had to be lifted out of the wilderness on Tuesday, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported. A helicopter delivered the three to their vehicle, and they drove to a medical clinic in Denali Park so Nichole Pickering, 25, of Florida could have an injury to her leg checked, Alaska State Troopers said.
In May, three German hikers trying to reach the bus on the Stampede Trail, near Healy, or about 10 miles north of the entrance to Denali National Park and Preserve, also had to be rescued.
They told troopers the river they crossed getting to the bus had become impassable for the return due to high, swift-running water. The hikers had proper gear but only enough food for three days, troopers said.
Troopers flew the three hikers to their vehicle at the end of Stampede Road.
The green and white bus, used for years as a shelter for hunters, has become a destination for those seeking to retrace the steps of Chris McCandless.
“The Bus,” as it has become known, has been the source of multiple rescues since it was made famous, first by Jon Krakauer’s book published in 1996 and then by Sean Penn’s 2007 film, both of which chronicled the life and death of McCandless, a 24-year-old Virginian who hiked into the Alaska wilderness in April 1992 with little food and equipment and spent the summer living in the bus. McCandless was found dead in the bus almost four months later after starving to death.
Since the book and movie came out, troopers have rescued numerous hikers who hiked out to the bus but could not return due to high water in the Teklanika River. A woman from Switzerland drowned in the river three years ago on the trail to the bus, but it was unclear whether she was hiking to the bus or just hiking in the area.