By Zoe Cooney


(Reuters) - New Zealand police rescued on Thursday a Czech woman traveler who spent nearly a month alone in a warden's hut by a remote mountain lake after her male traveling companion was killed in a fall.


The two had become disorientated in heavy snow that covered up markers on their 32-km (20-mile) trekking trail in late July.


The man fell as they were trying to make their way to safety and the woman spent three nights in the open before finding her way to the hut by Lake Mackenzie, in the country's South Island.


"She's undergone quite a traumatic experience," Inspector Olaf Jensen of the district police told a news conference.


"It's obviously a very unusual case given the length of time that the female was at the hut."

The pair began their journey on July 26 and the man fell two days later.

The woman reached the hut, which was stocked with food, firewood and gas to keep warm, on July 31, police said.

The Czech consulate raised the alarm after the two travelers, believed to be about 30, were not heard from for some time.

A recovery operation is underway to find the man's body.

The pair had been in New Zealand since January on a working holiday. Next of kin in the Czech Republic had been notified, police said.

(Reporting by Zoe Cooney; Editing by Robert Birsel)