Two Years After Her Husband Died on Mount Hood, Karen James Holds Fast
On December 10, 2006, 48-year-old Dallas landscape architect Kelly James spoke to his wife Karen for the final time. As you no doubt recall -- because it seems like only yesterday rescue workers were searching a storm-bound Mount Hood in Oregon for James and his two climbing companions, Dallas's Brian Hall and New York City's Jerry Cooke -- theirs was a brief conversation over a cellphone, with Karen telling Kelly the Christmas tree was decorated and would he please get home. Kelly, seeking refuge in a snow cave, said only that "he was cold and he was wet and he was weak," as Karen recounted to Katie Couric; he offered little hint of the severity of his situation and his injuries that would ultimately claim his life.
Since that December, Karen James has tried to find out precisely what happened to her husband and his companions, and on Tuesday, Thomas Nelson published her book about the incident and its aftermath: Holding Fast: The Untold Story of the Mount Hood Tragedy. She speaks to the Associated Press today about what she discovered -- and how, two years later, she is coping with the grief of losing her husband to a mountain. --Robert Wilonsky