Rescued hikers were returning from 'Into the Wild' bus

Published: Jun. 26, 2016 at 2:49 PM AKDT
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The two hikers rescued after failing to return on time from a trip into Denali National Park were headed to the famed “Into the Wild” bus on the Stampede Trail, according to the National Park Service.

Ground team searchers found Michael Trigg, 25, of Lexington, South Carolina, and Theodore Aslund, 27, of Atlanta around 3 p.m. Sunday near the Teklanika River. Officials say they were not injured and are in good condition.

The pair of hikers became the latest to be rescued after trying to reach the spot where 24-year-old Chris McCandless died in 1992. The 1996 John Krakauer book “Into the Wild,” and a 2007 movie by the same name recounted McCandless’ story and made the bus into a popular attempted destination.

“Each year, multiple people who attempt to visit the bus under-prepared are rescued by professional search and rescue personnel,” according to the NPS.

Trigg and Aslund described themselves as “experienced backcountry hikers,” according to the NPS. They began their trip along the west side of the Teklanika River last Monday, and wrote their plans in a Facebook post, along with instructions to contact rescuers if they hadn’t returned by Friday. Concerned friends got in touch with NPS Rangers that day.

Neither Trigg nor Aslund had a satellite phone or rescue locator device with them, but they were carrying extra supplies.

The pair made it to the bus and left a note, which the search team found. However, when Trigg and Aslund were making their way back, they realized they were running late and tried a shortcut by crossing the Teklanika River on the Stampede Trail. They turned back after almost being swept downstream.

About 24 people worked to find the lost hikers, including four ground teams and a helicopter.


Michael Trigg and Ted Aslund were located by a ground search team on Sunday afternoon. Here is the updated information from the National Parks Service:

"Ground search teams have located the two hikers. They are currently walking out with Search Team Bravo. The pair was found west of the Teklanika River, south of the canyon. It is anticipated that they will reach the park road in approximately three hours."

A search is underway for two overdue hikers in Denali National Park and Preserve, the National Parks Service wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday.

According to NPS, 25-year-old Michael Trigg and 27-year-old Theodore “Ted” Aslund began their multi-day hike along the west side of the Teklanika River on June 20. The two planned to return by June 24 and posted instructions on their Facebook pages to alert authorities if the failed to return on that date.

Friends of the two men contacted rangers on Friday to report that Trigg and Aslund had not returned. An investigation was initiated that day, NPS said. Ground and aerial searches have been conducted since then.

“The search vicinity is characterized by steep, brushy terrain with multiple tributaries of the Teklanika and Sushana Rivers,” the Parks Service wrote in the Facebook post.