When the full story of the search for Jim is revealed, we were all amazed at the well oiled machine the mountain rescue team is. They actually send out runners---YOU REMEMBER EARLIER REPORTING RUNNERS ON THE TRAIL?- from three different directions to look for him. It was always quite a sight when we would meet these runners on the trail. I struggle running at sea level to get enough air and these mountain goats just leap along the trail. Keep in mind, these runners are on the trail with 4 passes at over 13,000 feet. These mostly men, but also some women can run the almost 30 miles through scree, boulder filled trails, and straight up grades in 7 hours---REMARKABLE---the same trail that we planned to take 4 days to complete.
They also had planes out searching for Jim. They took extensive notes on the hike plan, his medical history, his supplies and his experience. It is impressive at a minimum and they usually do at least one rescue a day--most with a good outcome.
Lesson learned for Jim---always go the way you promised. Lesson learned for all of us--stay together as a group when hiking. Jim is extremely apologetic, but we are just relieved and forgiving. As we explained to him--we are extending the same grace we have received for far greater sins. God is truly all around this trip.