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Original Issue


'Mountains don't care'

George (Ome) Daiber, a Seattle building contractor, shown here completing a descent along a Cascade mountain cliff, found a lifetime avocation when he made his first mountain rescue at 19. "Let's get Ome" became a watchword when luckless climbers in his area found it one thing to get up a mountain, another to get down.

By 1948 Daiber, now 52, had a list of 20 friends available to help in mercy missions. That year he and Wolf Bauer, an engineer, gave their group a formal organization, called it the Seattle Mountain Rescue Council, the first such council in the country. It includes 128 experts and has made nearly 50 rescue trips.

Why do council members risk their lives to save someone whose foolhardiness may have courted disaster? "Weren't you ever dumb?" asks Daiber in reply. Compassion spurs the council members, he says, a compassion not shared by the mountains. Recognizing this, the council helped make a movie with a title that could be its creed: Mountains Don't Care.