Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Amy Racina Survival story on the Montel Show

Miracle in the Wilderness—Amy Racina
Wendy Patterson, San Francisco Chronicle

Every day is a good day for Amy Racina. It wasn't always that way, but crashing 60 feet into a granite ravine changed her perspective. A seasoned backpacker, Racina was on a solo trip two years ago in the Tehipite Valley, a seldom-visited area of Kings Canyon National Park, which is in the southern end of the Sierra Nevada in California. She was 12 days into a 162-mile trip when she lost the trail she was on. As she carefully crisscrossed down the valley looking for the trail, the ground suddenly gave way and she found herself careening through the air.

"So this is how it ends," she thought in the seconds before she slammed into a granite ravine. The fall nearly killed Racina, but the miracle -- the first of many -- was that it didn't.

Racina has published a book recounting her rescue and arduous recovery. Angels in the Wilderness ... is titled for the three hikers who saved her life after they came upon her even though she had been off-trail when she fell in a remote area visited only by a handful of people each season.

Racina, 48, has been backpacking since she was 16. She frequently hikes in the Sierra, logging thousands of miles, many of them alone. She is a backpacker's backpacker, so obsessive about reducing the weight in her pack that she cuts the edges off maps. She is a single mom of a teenage son and runs two small businesses ... out of her home with a determined, no-nonsense personality.

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