A Czech hiker who was stranded for four weeks in a remote New Zealand hut after her partner fell to his death from a cliff has told of her ‘harrowing’ ordeal.
Pavlína Píová, 33, survived heavy snow storms and waded through waist-deep snow to reach a Lake Mackenzie track warden’s hut – which had food, a stove and a fireplace – to take refuge from the extreme weather.
She was left to fend for herself after her partner, Ondrej Petr, died after they set out on the Routeburn Track in New Zealand’s snow-clad Southern Alps, about 60 kilometres north-west of Queenstown, on July 24.
Mr Petr, 27, slipped and fell to his death from a cliff two days later after becoming disorientated after heavy snowfall covered up track markers.
The 33-year-old was unable to help her partner as he was stuck between rocks and branches, and she had slipped and fallen behind him as they had tried to make their way to shelter.
After hearing Mr Petr take his last breath, she spent the first night at his side because she ‘wanted to be with him and she couldn’t walk any further because of the weather’.