Article – Lehigh Valley woman ate twigs, drank urine to survive

The Northampton Community College professor who survived more than a day exposed to Grand Canyon snow and freezing temperatures made it in part by eating pine tree twigs and drinking her urine, her twin sister said Sunday.


Karen Klein, who will turn 47 on New Year’s Eve, was in stable condition in an intensive care unit at a Utah hospital, her sibling, Kristen Haase, said Sunday.

Haase, who lives in Narberth, Montgomery County, and also teaches at Northampton, said her sister has taken wilderness survival training. But all the preparation undoubtedly couldn’t have prepared Klein, her husband Eric, 47, and their 10-year-old son Isaac for the rigors of a vacation out West that turned nearly deadly. The Palmer Township family’s rescue took place in a remote area of the Grand Canyon’s north rim, near the Utah-Arizona border.

Hiked 30 miles in the snow, got lucky, and stumbled across a cabin. Note that she’s in intensive care but the people who stayed in the car were treated and released. On the other hand, you might argue that the folks in the car would have suffered worse if rescuers didnt know where to find them without the womans input.

But, the takeaways: Gear in the vehicle and Stay with the vehicle.


7 thoughts on “Article – Lehigh Valley woman ate twigs, drank urine to survive

  1. I believe the husband got to higher ground near the car after she left and got a cell signal that rescuers used to locate them. Stay with the vehicle. She got very lucky. They did not really know what they were doing from the get go. My wife asked if the rescuers would send them the bill because they were brazenly stupid wandering out into the mountains in winter, ignoring road signs and other warnings that it was not safe.

      • Drinking urine in a survival situation is never the right thing to do. But, it’s somewhat common in situations where there is no water available, so in those situations, its at least somewhat understandable. Likewise not having or acquiring local road knowledge.

        But to hike through 30 miles of snow, and decide to drink urine instead of the snow?

        As I said, a SPECIAL kind of STUPID.

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