Karen Klein, 47, was driving with her husband Eric, 47, and their son Issac, 10, on Friday from Bryce Canyon National Park in southern Utah to the Grand Canyon Nation when their GPS routed them through forest service roads as reported by mcall.com. Heavy snow soon made the road impassible and when they tried to turn around their car got stuck in a ditch.
Karen Klein, who is a triathlete and marathon runner and had taken wilderness survival classes, decided to walk to the nearest highway to get help and said goodbye to her husband and son with a some water and few snacks in tote. What she didn’t know was the highway she was walking towards was closed for the winter and she would have to walk to the park’s entrance to get help. That was Thursday afternoon.
By Friday afternoon, she hadn’t returned to the car and her husband decided to leave the relative safety of the vehicle and hike to higher ground to get a cell signal. He was able to make that call and help arrived but Karen was still missing.
It wasn’t until Saturday morning (30 hours after she left the car) that Karen was found by searchers inside a guard shack closed for the season at the northern rim gate. She was barely conscious and suffered severe exposure. She had hiked 26 miles through snow up to 3 feet deep (Karen is 5 feet 4 inches and weighs 105 pounds). After she had finished her food and water she resorted to eating twigs and drinking her own urine to survive (she knew eating snow could cause hypothermia).
It took nine hours to cover the last few miles. She could only walk 10 feet at time and then collapse. At one point in the journey she took off her shoe to remove a piece of ice but wasn’t able to get it back on. She hiked the last few miles without it.
We hope Karen has a speedy recovery and knows that the entire nation is in disbelief of her courage and will to help her family. This is one of the most badass moms you will ever hear about.