Dale Smith and Justin Mayo had driven only a couple of miles down the mountain last Monday when they heard a man's cries for help.
Through the darkness, they saw him poke his head out of a trail-side latrine. He was naked except for the toilet paper he had wrapped around his head and neck.
It was a bizarre chance encounter, and over the next few hours, Smith, Mayo and Seattle, Wash., police Officer Rob Brown, who had just finished a climb in the North Cascades, learned the man's tragic tale: A couple of days earlier, his wife had fallen 35 feet near Klawatti Peak. She died 24 hours later as a storm raged outside the tent her husband had pitched on top of a glacier. When the weather cleared, he went for help — and nearly drowned crossing the Cascade River.
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