In the Facebook group called I survived wilderness, the question was asked: Did you try to escape. Two former detainees from Aspen Achievement Academy replied This wilderness program was a notorious wilderness program which operated from 1988 to 2011. Suicide attempts, escapes and even deaths marked the years the program was operating.
Here is the first testimony from NSK:
I did. And i got away. I was at A.A.A. winter of 03' and i was there one night in G3. And on the first day i was there i saw some trucks and some work being done(i dont know what they were doing), anyway I was cold, and one day out of detox so I wanted to kill myself. I just started walking, then running.
I made it to the sight where these men were doing work with lots of trucks, well I just ran over, and jumped into a big truck. locked the doors, and(I will never forget).. there was DORITOS... Nutty Butters.....Mountain due.... and .... Marlboro Light cigarettes.. I sat and ate and smoked and drank as the workers were calling AAA.
Then a staff came and we got into a little fight, I thought i would rather be in jail then there. Well anyway she told me that if I got out of the truck I could write my mom. So that is what i did. But as most of you know, once you are stuck there you are there for good. And funny enough at the end i did not want to leave. It did help me become who i am today. I still talk to one girl who is also doing great. Hay if any one else went to AAA in the winter of 99 with a girl named XXXXX and you know how she is doing please let me know. well ok, now you know I TRIED TO RUN AWAY!!!!!
Another detainee - EC wrote:
Aspen Achievement Academy may 23rd 2007, My 16th birthday and I was mad as all hell. So mad I could not believe i was in rehab for my sweet sixteen, but I ran with a girl named XXX XXXXXX. I was in G2 and we made it 27 miles, we left right after ball bundles. We had converse and oh lord my feet have never hurt so bad. We were about a mile outside of town and got spotted and called in.
No one ever gets away from AAA. Ever. hahahah I thought I would be an exception.. naahhhh
I loved wilderness though. I miss it sometimes. I met my best friends there.
In 1996 an entire group ran away. While the two teenagers above didn't make it out as result of their escape attempt, they didn't die out there.