Saturday, January 05, 2008

My Heart is Heavy

This morning when I checked my e-mails, there was a prayer chain request dated last evening from a good friend of mine. A girl was lost in the snow and they were in the process of looking for her--please pray. This was pretty much it in terms of details. When I read this I was disturbed because the King5 news last night reported an avalanche had engulfed a hiking party and a 13 year old girl from Mukilteo did not make it. Sure enough, the child was friends with my friend's children. They are terribly upset.

As Dave and I walked Apolo this morning, we stopped to chat with some of our neighbors as they were taking down Christmas lights. This girl was good friends with their family as well. Our neighbors are devastated, too. I do not know the family but I hurt for them. To lose a child in such a disastrous way is unimaginable to me. What an awful situation.

The avalanche occurred on the trail to Lake 22. Evidently, they did not quite reach the lake because the weather turned iffy so they turned around to head back when it happened. From what I understand, they were quite near the lake. Lake 22 is my favorite hike in the Cascades though I have never attempted it during the winter. Lucas has and he claims it is his favorite winter hike as well. Our neighbors told us the family is not unfamiliar with the outdoors and takes precautions in the face of avalanche dangers. This was a terrible accident that could not have been prevented nor predicted.

This season, our state has lost nine people to snowslides with three of them in Snohomish County. Washington leads the nation with the most avalanche deaths so far this winter. The snow conditions are unlike anything before and avalanches are happening in places you'd never expect. My thoughts and prayers are with this family today and with my friends who are suffering the loss as well.

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Lucas at Lake 22 on his 22nd birthday, June 11, 2007.