"Gratitude leads to love. But not to demanding love, the love of a hunter for his prey. Do not confuse begging love with the generous love that leads to thankfulness." - Arnaud Desjardins
LONGMIRE, Wash. - A helicopter rescued two stranded climbers from Mount Rainier on Saturday, two days after they called for help, but rangers held out little hope for a third man missing since an accident that killed his partner.
The two stranded climbers, Al Hancock and Bruce Penn, had been descending the difficult Liberty Ridge route along the north side of the 14,411-foot peak when they reported were unhurt but "in over their heads," said Mike Gauthier, supervisory climbing ranger at Mount Rainier National Park. Rangers had held off on sending a rescue team and the National Guard helicopter for the pair - who had food and fuel, and weren't in immediate danger - while they focused on two other climbers.
That pair, Ansel Vizcaya, 29, from the Missoula, Mont., area and his climbing partner, Luke Casady, 29, of Stevensville, Mont., also had been attempting the Liberty Ridge route. They were reported overdue on Tuesday. Casady's body was recovered Friday and Vizcaya's backpack was found nearby. Rangers said they believe an avalanche swept Casady 4,000 feet to his death and also might have killed his partner. Rangers will continue searching for Vizcaya by helicopter, although Gauthier said it was unlikely Vizcaya was still alive.
"Tanzan wrote 60 postcards on the last day of his life, and asked an attendant to mail them. Then he passed away.
The cards read:
I am departing from this world.
This is my last announcement.
July 27, 1892"