I had to pare down the original question as it featured multiple elements within it. I think that the climax to Paulsen's novel can be seen in a couple of different lights. On one hand, I think that the moment that the pilot lands the small plane and sees Brian, exclaiming "Damn" at the sight of him might be the climax. It is the point where the drama and the conflict has come to an end, as Brian has been found and "rescued." I would see this as a literal read on the climax issue. Another instance where a climax point in the novel would be the development of Brian's "tough hope." It is this particular resolution, one in which Brian has reached a certain point where his commitment survival is more strenuous than the conditions around him, that shows Brian reaching a particular point in his narrative. The development of Brian's "tough hope" represents a moment where the conflict reaches its maximum point because Brian, in a sense, goes "all in" against the wild and vows not to be beaten, not to acquiesce, or die in the process of trying to survive. I think that either point can be seen as a climax to Paulsen's work.