Lost tourist rescued from Mt Karioi after 10-hour ordeal
Batel Rosenkrantz sat with her fingers in her mouth, biting down from nerves and the bone tingling cold.
"Are they going to come, are they going to come?" she asked herself.
Around her was the silence of dense bush, pitch blackness and a dead cellphone.
In wet clothes and sub-zero temperatures, the 24-year-old tourist from northern Israel spent 10 hours lost and alone in the bush of Mt Karioi near Raglan overnight.
Equipped with a bag of a snacks, water, cellphone, and light clothing, the avid hiker, who is on a year long trip to NZ, planned to hike to the summit of the 755 metre-high mountain
She left the Te Toto Gorge carpark at 10am.
"It's supposed to take four hours from what they say, and friends of mine did it last week - it's supposed to be an easy and really beautiful one," she said still shaking from the ordeal on Tuesday morning.
"It was really muddy and it's coarse and bushy, even the narrow track there is bush all over and it's hard to see five metres."
By 2.20pm she had reached the summit.
"After five minutes when I turned around from the summit, I got lost. It was really, really fast I couldn't find the track."
Rosenkrantz fast became confused amid dense bush and multi-coloured markings.
"There were a lot of different colours - I tried to follow them but you couldn't walk through it."
"I was walking until dark and then I called the police."
By then her cellphone had seven per cent battery and darkness was rapidly encroaching.
"I was kinda relaxed until I talked to them on the phone and then I realised, oh my god I don't have any battery."
Waikato police received a call at 5.15pm and managed to gain GPS coordinates of her location.
Police phoned Rosenkrantz telling her to activate the data on her iPhone, in hopes of locating her.
She also tried texting a screenshot of the compass on her phone to police but when that failed, was told to conserve battery by holding it close to her body to warm the battery and slow energy usage.
In the darkness, in wet clothing, she sat for 10 hours, singing Israeli songs.
"When will I be in my bed? I thought."
"When will they come, how will they come. I imagined them pointing the light at me."
Meanwhile three Hamilton search and rescue volunteers and a search dog were dropped at the helipad on the summit of the mountain at 9.20pm.
The trio began a grid-search pattern, blowing whistles until they heard a faint response.
"We were trying to identify the lost person's footprints or where they went off track and then made voice contact," Land Search and Rescue volunteer Graeme Hill said.
With the wind circulating the sound of her voice through the valley, searchers used a map to triangulate her location.
"It is very, very muddy, steep with lots of tree roots and very slippery and some pretty sheer faces aswell."
At 4.30am rescuers reached Rosenkrantz, about 1.6km from the summit and suffering from mild hypothermia.
"She was very, very cold and couldn't warm up."
They fed her hot tea, covered her in emergency blankets and built a fire, deciding to bunk down for a few hours until daylight instead of walking four hours out.
By 8am Rosenkrantz had taken her first ever helicopter ride to the Raglan fire station where she recovering.
She had plans to do other hikes in her three months left in NZ but for now she's "seen enough" of Karioi.