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Saturday Evening Post, 1953

Saturday Evening Post, May 2, 1953, p. 17 - Worden, William L., "The Man Who Rescues Mountain Climbers"

"High in the dangerous peaks a boy is missing, maybe alive, maybe dead. What can be done? Well, in Seattle there's a little man with a crooked foot who's always ready to bring back the climber--or his body. He risks his neck, gets no pay, but many a sadder, wiser outdoorsman owes his life to Ome Daiber." Ome Daiber has become the symbol of mountain rescue in the Northwest. "When there's trouble in the high country, Ome always goes." The author discusses Ome's role in the 1936 Delmar Fadden recovery on Mt Rainier and many rescues during the early 1950s. The opening photo is of the Rev. Thomas Jessett, "grief-stricken at learning that the body of his son Arthur has been found in a hidden Mt St Helens crevasse."

During World War II, Daiber's draft board refused him because of a foot crushed by a mountain boulder and left so crooked that Army doctors were sure he wouldn't be able to do infantry hiking. Instead, he led in mapping dozens of approaches to Cascade mountain passes as a defense measure. In 1943, while searching for a missing Army fighter pilot in the Olympics, he found a Navy patrol bomber that had crashed on the slopes of Mt Washington. He returned several times with Navy parties to bring out the bodies of the crew, destroy secret equipment, and explode the bombs on board.

Daiber repeatedly turned down jobs as a National Park Service ranger, "because I could see they'd be a trap," he said. "They'd keep me too busy to climb my beloved mountains." He recalled a successful rescue of a kid in the Olympics: "The parents were waiting, but nobody even said thanks, then or later. We'd spent two nights and a day, getting over there and on the ten-mile hike in. People are funny." In 1952, Daiber was nominated "Man of the Year in Sports," a title awarded annually by a Seattle newspaper. He didn't win, "perhaps rightly not, because what he does isn't by any stretch of the imagination a sport at all." This article is a moving tribute to Ome Daiber.

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