“Lack of training, insufficient equipment, no communications, Not paying attention to weather forecasts….. These are the causes of the many tragedies among the inexperienced who try to conquer the mountains.”
Thus spoke Ben Justin, an experienced mountaineer from Spokane Washington.
Together with his friend, fellow mountaineer and artist, Hank Forgash, they spoke to reporters following their descent from Mount Hood, after two days at the summit.

Forgash, who had taken canvas and acrylic paints with him to capture mountain scenes described their trip.
” It was a sunny, nice day when we started out, but as we reached the six thousand foot mark, the wind started to blow with hurricane force, the snow came down in icy sheets and soon we were marooned in a ‘white out’….no up, no down, no references. We managed to get our tent up, and peering out, I set up my easel and painted the awesome scene outside. Fortunately, we managed to get down from the mountain during a break. It was a fearful experience.”

The Staunton Galleries in Spokane had Forgash’s painting
on display. Steve Staunton explained the painting. ” It is truly a work of art and reveals the euphony of a mountain snow ‘white out’. Although we have received many tempting purchase offers, we will keep it among our permanent collection. It is a masterful work! Just stand back and admire it!” Staunton added.