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.