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baylesl

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About baylesl

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  • Birthday 03/03/1984
  1. Perhaps you are one of the 240,000 people in the Puget Sound area tonight without power. I've been one of the lucky ones who has only experienced the hidden blessings of "stormageddon" as it's been called, like a day off of work and a four mile x-country ski trip through my neighborhood with my wife. But even if you are less fortunate and without electricity tonight, you're probably sitting down to dinner, maybe reading a book, writing in your journal, or simply enjoying the company of your loved ones. But chances are that you are in your home, warm, safe and secure. Tonight, however, several of our fellow mountaineers are not. As you may have heard, four climbers, have been trapped on Rainier due to the storm. A rescue team of five well prepared and accomplished mountaineers has attempted to retrieve the climbers but have been beaten back by blizzards (zero visibility, 40 mph winds). Tonight as we rest in our homes, perhaps without power, but most likely warm and comfortable, I encourage you to pray for those climbers, who rescuers believe may have hunkered down for the duration of the storm. Take a moment to lift them up in your minds and hearts and to imagine the hardship they must be experiencing, in the harsh conditions on The Mountain separated from their friends and family. I recently had the pleasure of reading Dee Molenarr's classic The Challenge of Rainier and have been writing a piece about the book, and more specifically about some of the "incredible survivals" he writes about. Molenaar writes of six historical survivals on Rainier that span from the late 70’s into the early 2000’s. He tells the story of a father and son team, who survived a seven-day storm near Rainier's summit in 1978, of a man that miraculously survived a fall down a two-thousand-foot snowfield in 1976, of two men that survived a plane crash and then survived a night on the summit, unprepared for the well below zero temperatures, and of climbers who survived debilitating falls and then up to three day bivouacs in crevasses. What Molenarr’s retellings make clear is that survivals on The Mountain are possible and that even tragic epics such as is playing out tonight can end in tears of joy instead of sorrow. Let's pray that these climbers' story will make it onto Molenaar's list of incredible survival's for the next edition. People are capable of amazing things such as climbing Mount Rainier, because of a passion and will that resides deep inside of them, and that same passion, that would have these mountaineers attempting a winter ascent of Rainier, is the same passion that will keep them alive in the worst of conditions. In the coming months, as this story concludes and details are revealed, mountaineers will discuss the wisdom of the choice to be on Rainier this time of year and examine how well prepared the team was for their attempt in an effort to better understand their mistakes and successes as well as to educate other climbers. However, now is not the time for such discussions. Instead, pray that the rescuers have a safe and successful rescue and that the climbers have an incredible survival. Take a moment to think of them, a moment to celebrate them, and to pray they make it home. You can catch up on the details of this story and stay updated as to any breaks in the story at mynorthwest.com. You can also follow the story on my A CLIMBER IS ALWAYS FREE blog at baylesloren@blogspot.com. Thanks for reading and climb on.
  2. Follow my A Climber Is Always Free blog at baylesloren@blogspot.com. Trip reports, poetry, photos, reviews and rants that celebrate the phenomenal rock climbing to be had in the Cascades! Tune in and climb on!
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