An Argentine climber by the name of Natalia Martinez got more than she bargained for when she set out on a solo expedition to Canada’s highest peak. Martinez began her trek on April 22, but two large earthquakes earlier this week caused avalanches that left her stranded on the mountain.
Martinez was climbing the 5959 meter (19,551 ft) peak on Monday when a 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit the Yukon less than 150 miles away from her campsite. This caused snow, rock, and lots of ice to come crashing down the slopes of Logan, creating an impassable barrier for either going up to the summit, or descending back down to the trail head. Natalia spent fours days trapped there until she was finally rescued yesterday. She has now reportedly been taken to Kluane Lake in southwest Yukon.
While the Argentine adventurer was stranded on the mountain, it is important to point out that she was uninjured and had plenty of food and fuel to stay safe for an extended period of time. Martinez is an experienced climber and was well prepared for her solo climb of the peak, which sees just 25 climbers on average each year.
The remote nature of the mountain, mixed with poor weather conditions, prevented a rescue from happening earlier in the week. Thankfully conditions improved yesterday however, and a SAR team was able to extract Natalia without incident. She’s now enjoying some creature comforts in Kluane Lake before deciding her next move.
Martinez’s story is a good reminder as to why we should always travel with plenty of gear and supplies when heading into the backcountry. From the sounds of things, she could have stayed safely on the mountain for awhile yet, thanks to the fact that she brought plenty of food and fuel along with her. Fortunately, that didn’t have to happen and she’s now safely off Mt. Logan.