Chris wasn't aware that there was another way he could have crossed the river back to civilization. Describe how he could have done that in Into the Wild.
I think we also need to question, however, whether or not Chris would have had the strength to cross the river in the cable cart near the end of his life. As malnourished and weakened as he would have been, it would have been very difficult to accomplish the feat in a hand cart.
The simple truth is that we do not know for sure whether Chris was aware of the cable cart or not. Being only half a mile downriver, it would stand to reason that he was at least cognizant of its existence; he may, however, have known he did not have the strength in his final days to accomplish the crossing.
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