7/1/11: Mount Rainier climb one month away for recovering homeless addicts

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by JOHN SHARIFY / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @JohnSharify

KING5.com

Posted on July 1, 2011 at 6:06 PM

Updated Saturday, Oct 22 at 8:11 PM

SEATTLE -- Marcus, Daniel, Jason, Frank, Rolls, and Scott are also climbing out of homelessness and drug addiction thanks to Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission.

But will they get to climb? It’s a commitment the men made to each other, and to themselves that they would do the necessary work to climb Mt. Rainier (Watch part one of John Sharify's initial story here).

And yet, each of the men already knows what Scott Sowles is about to say. 

“There’s no sure thing when it comes to a climb,” says Scott.

No sure thing indeed. Consider what happened over the weekend. Daniel Eiffert, who just last month looked me in the eye and declared “I have the utmost confidence” that he would make it to the top, won’t get a chance. Daniel left the recovery program at the mission.

From six climbers to five now. There were seven on the team before Ellis Banks left the program several weeks ago (watch part two of John Sharify's story explaining this here). Now this:

“Dan Eiffert somewhere along the way started misusing his prescription medication and was having a mental health crisis,” says Mike Johnson, Project Director at Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission. “ We’re not sure where his. He’s somewhere in Seattle, we think. We’re trying to track him down.”

Meantime, Lee Harmon gets to go. Until now we haven’t introduced you to Lee because we haven’t had to. The former crack addict has been an alternate on this climbing team of recovering addicts.

“You got your starters and then those on the bench waiting to get whistled in,” says Harmon who just got "whistled" in.

Now the question is, what about the other guys? Will any of them drop out too?

Watch our story and you’ll learn that Scott, Rolls, and Frank have had some serious challenges too. Will THEY make it? You be the judge.

“Who knows what’s going to happen between now and August 10th!” says Johnson. “It is never a dull moment."

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