Heroic Tragedy on Mount Rainier

It's one thing to sit behind a monitor and complain about the cold and rain. It's funny to see a front-page article in the paper about Siberia being off to a warmer June than Seattle. And it's easy to marvel at the fact that nearby Snoqualmie Pass received half a foot of snow on Tuesday. Unfortunately, it's also easy to forget what a freak storm like this could mean if you're out in it; especially if you're on a mountain.

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

When it became obvious the trio could not find their way back to base camp in whiteout conditions, they dug a snow trench with their hands. Eduard Burceag, 31, lay down in the snow while his wife and 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.

Mariana Burceag, also 31, survived the storm, as did the couple's friend, Daniel Vlad, 34.

You can read the rest of the article at Yahoo.

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