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Life saved on Mt Rainier

My son, Michael Knapinski, was miraculously saved from certain death this weekend after getting lost in a whiteout on Mt Rainier. Between the rescue crew, Harborview Hospital, and the latest medical procedures and equipment, he was rescued after literally being in the throes of death. 

We forgot one thing. Just a week before being rescued, Mike went to REI, and with the help of the sales people purchased a new jacket and ordered new boots from REI online. Mike spent 26 hours on the mountain in subzero temperatures. No doubt his new equipment was instrumental in keeping him warm enough to survive until he was rescued. His equipment was lost and/or destroyed, but he was not. Be safe, be prepared. Invest in the best equipment. 

Thanks to the salespeople that encouraged him to buy the best. The story is in the Seattle Times.

Ann and Dale Knapinski


3 Replies

Wow! Thank goodness he’s ok!

REI Member Since 1979

@DaleKNapinski wow. First and foremost, we are so relieved to hear that Mike not only survived such a harrowing event, but is also on the mend. In addition, we are incredibly humbled that you thought to share this note with us, in the midst of all you have going on - thank you. We wish Mike a speedy and thorough recovery, so he can get back to his volunteer work (and also his regular hikes in and around the beautiful Puget Sound).

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

I would just like to second the sentiment expressed here. I joined REI fortyseven years ago and bought my first item, a Primus stove, which I used for years, sometimes in critical situations, along with climbing ropes, other items of technical gear, sleeping bgs, clothing, etc, nearly all of which functioned superbly.

There was one exception, a gadgety survival type item which I determined was useless and returned it with no problem (The item in question was soon deleted from the inventory).  I have been very happy with my purchases from REI, using them for recreational excursions, search and rescue (a lot!), and archaeological field work during my career in the NPS.

Now REI isn't the only good supplier of goodies in the outdoors arena, but they are one of the best and they pay attention to more than just profits. Live long and prosper, REI!

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.