Sunday, 4 January 2009
Will they find Irina Yun alive today ? I am very hopeful. Monday 5 January 2009
Missing tramper's daughter Liann, 4, waits for her Mother
This morning I received a comment from Irina Yun's ex-parttner Oleg.
She is not Uzbek - she is what we call a "Russian Korean". Her grandparents were expelled from Korean border into Kazakhi desert in winter by Chairman Stalin 70 years ago. And they survived there - with no shelters at all!
Here is an extract from the New Zealand Herald that gives an insight into what her family are going through.
"I feel she is frightened, but still alive," said Oleg Amiton, Yun's ex-partner.
The mood was sombre but hopeful at Yun's house in Laingholm, West Auckland, yesterday, where Amiton was keeping vigil with their 4-year-old daughter, Liann
Amiton will fly to Queenstown today (that was yesterday, Sunday 4th) to help the search team.
Yun was last seen on Wednesday, after she left Mt Aspiring Hut in the morning to cross the Cascade Saddle. She did not arrive at the Dart Hut that evening as planned.
A photograph of Irina Yun on an earlier trip in the same region.
Amiton said Yun - an artist, photographer and web designer - was an experienced tramper and not one to give up easily.
"She is over-confident. As far as I know, she would not turn back."
Yun was experienced in alpine sports in her native Kazakhstan. New Zealand's reputation for outdoor pursuits was one of the reasons she moved here five years ago, said Amiton. A year ago, the couple tramped the Dart track, the area where Yun is now missing.
Amiton had spoken to Yun's family, who live in the Kazakh city of Almaty.
"They are worried, but they're a very traditional Asian family; they don't really express their feelings that much."
Amiton praised the close-knit West Auckland community for their help since Yun had been missing. "The community here is very supportive," said Amiton, who is separated from Yun.
He said friends were going to care for Liann as he headed to Queenstown.
Today I am hopeful search parties will find evidence of her whereabouts and I hope and pray she is alive. She has much in her favour. As Oleg says, "Her grandparents were expelled from Korean border into Kazakhi desert in winter by Chairman Stalin 70 years ago. And they survived there - with no shelters at all!"
Genetics are a big factor and her background as a highly-trained yoga specialist, gives her that strength of mind which will aid her survival.
In 1996-99 and for many holidays thereafter, I lived in Kazakhstan, and used to climb with the hardy climbing fraterity that included the famous Anatoly Boukreev, who climbed Mt. Everest a number of times. Knowing that she used to live in Almaty, I am sure she is one of this tough breed of Kazakh mountaineers.
I am scanning the net and listening to the radio for news. Join me in praying for her safe delivery, and if you don't believe in this, spare a few encouraging thoughts for her survival.