In May 1982 a young man from Zurich, Switzerland
headed west across the planet to spend a year in Alaska. With him he took $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, this same young man 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 Switzerland To Alaska: Just To Die.
Ruedi 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 forces that nature presented, but the constant inward journeys his circumstances forced him to undertake — journeys that required him to crawl deep into his soul.