Monday, February 19, 2007

Monday's Rescue on Mt. Hood

Monday's events bring it all back. Three climbers lost on Mt. Hood. High winds. Rescue workers taking to the mountain to find and bring them safely home. Anxious family members and friends praying and waiting.

Only this time the outcome was different.

News reports read: "Three climbers who tumbled off a ledge on Mount Hood were taken away in an ambulance after they hiked down much of the state's highest peak with their rescuers - and a dog who may have saved their lives."

We can only imagine the joy and relief of their loved ones at the safe return of these missing climbers. At the same time, we are painfully mindful of two climbers still on the mountain. For them we still wait, praying that searchers will find and bring them down off the mountain soon too.

Please remember the families and friends of Brian and Nikko in your prayers as they gather this week and next for memorial services. Details about their services are posted below, along with a new photo of Nikko, taken on the day of his engagement to Michaela. The family friend who sent the photo wrote:

"Thank you for your wonderful efforts in maintaining the blog--reminding everyone how special our guys were and keeping their memories alive. They were incredible men whose zeal for life, deep faith and reverence for the Lord's majesty, and absolute devotion to their loved ones reminds us all of the true meaning of living fully. [This] image of Nikko presents him as he is to us, a wonderfully charismatic, energetic, enthusiastic and friendly soul whose smile could melt away all your worries."

Brian's friends describe him as "a shining example of living each and every day of life to the fullest."

"From a very young age, his zest for life and winning smile were infectious. He turned each day into an exciting adventure, always testing his limits and discovering new talents. . . . He has scaled Mt. McKinley and Mt. Rainier in the U.S., as well as several peaks in the Andes of South America. Yet the summit of any mountain has never been his goal. Rather, the refreshing solitude, grueling physical and mental challenge, technical expertise, camaraderie with fellow climbers and the serene kinship with nature are what he has always cherished."

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