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Karen James, the widow of mountain climber Kelly James, spent the year after her husband’s death researching the facts and reconstructing the events of what really happened on the mountain. In her new book, "Holding Fast," Karen, reveals never before released information as to what went wrong on the mountain. The book is more than an adventure story it is also a love story between a husband and wife, about the deep friendship formed between the three families, the bond between family and friends that kept them going, and the search and rescue teams who never gave up. Despite her great loss, Karen reveals how her faith enabled her to overcome the tragedy, making it a real life inspirational story that you will never forget.

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In December 2006, millions of people across the world prayed and waited anxiously to learn the fate of three climbers trapped on Mount Hood. The worst storm in the last decade was pounding the mountain with hurricane-force winds and would not permit the army of rescue workers, equipped with state-of-the-art technology, from breaking Mother Nature’s wicked grip. No one below could forget the last phone call placed by climber Kelly James to his wife Karen and older boys telling them that he was trapped in a snow cave just below the summit and his climbing partners Brian Hall and Jerry "Nikko" Cooke had gone for help.

For more than a week, fierce weather thwarted rescue attempts. Finally on Dec. 17, 2006 rescue workers located Kelly’s body in a snow cave. Amazingly, before Kelly died of hypothermia he removed his glove and extended his ring finger with his signet JKJ ring prominently displayed as a signal to his family. While tracks of Brian and Nikko were found heading away from the snow cave they soon disappeared. No signs of the two other climbers have ever been found. But the story did not end here.

Learn the Connection of MercyMe's Song "Hold Fast" to the Mount Hood tragedy.
“While our song touched the hearts of many, we too were deeply touched by the commitment and faith of the family and rescue workers trying to save the climbers. We must always Hold Fast.”


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