Hiker's Letter Reveals How She Survived 9 Days Lost With Broken Bones in the Sierra Nevada

PHOTO: In this undated photo, Miyuki Harwood in San Francisco, was missing for nine days in Californias Sierra Nevada.PlayFresno County Sheriff's Office via AP
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The 62-year-old hiker who was recently rescued after she was lost for nine days with broken legs in California's Sierra Nevada has released a letter from her hospital bed with new details about her miraculous survival.

Hiker Miyuki Harwood wrote the one-page letter while recovering in a hospital, saying that she regretted leaving her group of backpackers and that she shouldn't have attempted to return to her base camp alone as it was getting dark on Aug. 20.

"It was getting dark," she wrote. "I tried to get back to the campsite but fell off the cliff. I landed on both legs."

As a result of the fall, she broke her left leg, right ankle and suffered a compression in her back.

"I realized that I could not stand up on either leg," Harwood wrote. "I spent every day colder and colder and would lie in the sun a few hours each day."

A dozen different search-and-rescue teams scoured the mountains, along with helicopters and drones -- all of which Harwood said she could hear.

"I kept blowing my whistle and answered their calls," she said, but her whistles went unanswered for nine days until this past Saturday, when a crew finally found her injured but alive.

The 62-year-old hiker is still in the hospital, where she has undergone one surgery and expects more on a long road of recovery. But she said she's grateful for the rescuers "who found me and had not given up hope."

Harwood is a widow of 10 years and very independent, her sister-in-law, Barb Hartwig, recently said of her. In June, Harwood hiked the Grand Canyon alone, her sister-in-law added.

"She does not like to be in the limelight," Hartwig said. "She just wants to concentrate on getting better and healing up."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.