Friday, June 27, 2008

Backcountry Heroes

With the research I did with SAR for my two 2008 releases, I find myself following SAR operations in the Pacific Northwest. In December, three snowboarders went missing at Crystal Mountain while backcountry snowboarding. Their bodies were never found. I can't imagine how the families would deal with such a tragedy. To make matters worse, all the snowfall this year kept official recovery efforts at bay though a friend continued searching on his own.

Back in December, a few backcountry skiers and boarders saw the three and that memory, no doubt etched in their minds, prompted one to organize a search when he started this thread on the website Turns All Year.

It's a great read to see how things literally snowballed into twelve strangers from an Internet forum joining forces to look for the three. They were joined by a couple friends of the missing and supported by the families. The ski patrol got involved, too.

What's even better? They found them, bringing much needed closure to family and friends and, I hope, to those who had seen the three that day back in December, too.

Here is an article about what happened as well as a link to a thread about the article.

When I was researching my books, all of the mountain rescue volunteers said they weren't heroes. One told me he was trained for this so it's no different than being a policeman or firefighter. That's their job. I disagreed with him, but that's worthy of another post.

In the case of the twelve who found the three snowboarders... They prove heroes aren't just found between the pages of romance novels. Real heroes are out there and may be as close as some person posting on an Internet forum you read.

The deaths of the three snowboarders was a tragedy. I pray for the three as well as their family and friends, but something positive did come out of this. The recovery effort shows the goodness of people and what can be achieved with a little heart and effort.

Like the dancing video I posted earlier this week, this story put a big smile on my face, too. And made me wonder... what kind of romance could I write with a backcountry skier or snowboarder hero?