Newlyweds Magdalena Czarnecka and Michael Wangrat just left their home in Poland last month to begin a year-long honeymoon adventure when things took a turn. The bride was exploring Denali National Park with her cousin, Marek Paleski, when they fell about 1,000 feet into a crevasse on Peters Glacier.
The cousins spent the night in the crevasse until Paleski was able to hike back to camp for help and later Magdalena was airlifted to a local hospital. The newlywed did suffer two broken bones and three broken teeth, but she’s incredibly lucky to survive a fall like that.
Park ranger Joseph McBrayer, who helped with her rescue, says he was shocked to find her alive. “I think generally if you were to ask any one of my peers, or anyone else in the climbing community, if someone would survive a thousand-foot fall on 40-to 50-degree snow and ice,” he says, “I think they’d probably say no.”
Despite her injuries and having to cut their honeymoon short, Magdalena says her new husband’s support has made her happier to be married to him. She says, “After this trip, we are stronger.”