Friday, November 28th, 2014

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Heroism on Rainier

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For those of us who from time to time become complacent (including yours truly), this kind of story serves to remind us that climbing is no joke. At any time, even on a benign route on what is usually a fairly benign mountain, the situation can go bad and we all need to be prepared. My condolences to the climber’s friends and family.

From the AP:

A Romanian hiker who lost his life high on
Mount Rainier lay down in the snow and used his body’s warmth to save
his wife and a friend from the 70-mph winds of a freak June blizzard,
national park officials say.

When
it became obvious the trio of friends could not find their way back to
base camp in whiteout conditions, they dug a snow trench with their
hands. Then 31-year-old Eduard Burceag lay down on the snow and his
wife and a friend lay on top of him. Later, when they begged him to
switch places, Burceag refused, saying he was OK.

"In doing so, he probably saved their lives," park spokesman Kevin Bacher said Thursday.