How do you know your version of the climbing tragedy
A. I spent countless hours
talking to Sheriff Joe Wampler and sharing my writings
with him, members the Crag Rats, Josh Johnston of
the 304th and Steve Rollins, Rescue Leader of Portland
Mountain Rescue to ensure that the facts are accurate.
Even though this is a very personal story, I also
applied my experience as a reporter when gathering
the facts. I believe together we answer the mystery
of what went terribly wrong on Mount Hood. It truly
is the untold story.
Q. What is the significance of the title
A. The book was named “Holding Fast”
for a couple of reasons. First, I had to hold fast
and strong to the idea that the climbers would be
found and then after the news of Kelly’s death
I had to hold fast to my faith to make it through
the worst time of my life. Second, the song “Hold
Fast” by the Christian music group MercyMe was
played at the prayer service in Dallas during the
search and rescue. For me the lyrics also fit Kelly’s
situation and I was very touched that MercyMe gave
permission to use their lyrics in the book and shared
their song with us.
Q. What do you hope readers take away from
A. I hope that by candidly sharing my journey of
love, loss and faith it will help someone else who
is dealing with a tragedy or help others to comfort
those facing difficult times.