How far into the wilderness do you have the courage to go to find out just how tough you really are?
How long must you stay before you reach your physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual limit?
In May 1982 a young man from Zurich, Switzerland headed west across the planet to spend a year in Alaska. His name was Ruedi Glauser. He took with him $5000 purposely saved for the journey, a mini-survival kit wrapped around his waist, a few woolen clothes, and a stout belief that he had the skill required to survive a year in the Alaskan wilderness.
Five months after abandoning his mother, sister, friends, and job as a graphic designer, Ruedi found himself hunkered down in the Ray Mountains, having every one of his survival skills tested to the limit. How this Swiss explorer faced much more than he bargained for in the wilderness of Alaska is the extraordinary story of Just To Die.
Glauser had wandered up and down the mountains and valleys of the Swiss Alps in his youth, always confident in his ability to endure whatever Nature sent his way. But Switzerland had become too tame. He needed a greater challenge. Settling into a routine lifestyle might have been more comfortable, but "settling" would never have forced him to face up to the insecurities so deeply entrenched in his being.
Ruedi's initial intent was to go it alone in Alaska, or to have with him at most a pack of dogs. But in the end he opted for one solitary companion to go with him. What challenged Ruedi were not only the unrestrained energies that nature presented, but the constant inward journeys his circumstances forced him to undertake --- journeys that required him to crawl deep into his soul.
Ultimately, Switzerland To Alaska: Just To Die is a book about survival.
It is about what happened when one human being decided to test his ability to survive at one of the far ends of the earth.
It is about one man who wanted to discover what his limits were. How far into darkness was it necessary to go to prove how tough he was?
What were his limits? He would have to find out.
What was the coldest temperature he could function in? He'd have to learn.
What animals could he elude or defend himself from? He'd have to wait and see which ones crossed his path.
And if bears, wolverines, or even mosquitoes found him, would they be the death of him?
Every circumstance could be dangerous, but he would test himself and see how he'd come out on the other side.
The immediate question Ruedi had on his mind before leaving was: If I go in prepared, will that be enough? Will I survive?