Eduard Burceag: a hero deserving recognition

| June 12, 2008

He deliberately put himself at risk — and died — in order to save his wife’s life:

MOUNT RAINIER — Battered by a blizzard on the slopes of this mountain, Eduard Burceag lay down in a snow trench, trying to use his body’s warmth to protect his wife, Mariana, from the 70-mph winds.

Rangers alerted to an emergency at 10,000 feet found Burceag in the snow Tuesday morning. He had no pulse and would later be declared dead.

“He basically sacrificed his life for his wife,” David Gottlieb, lead climbing ranger at Mount Rainier, said Wednesday. “Imagine you’re laying in the snow. It drains you.”

Burceag’s 31-year-old wife and a family friend, Daniel Vlad, 35, of Bellevue survived the ordeal. An Army helicopter from Mount Rainier plucked them off the mountain Wednesday. And after a brief stay at Madigan Army Hospital and Harborview Medical Center, the two were released. . . .

Eduard Burceag was a software engineer, father of two sons and an experienced mountaineer. It was that experience he apparently called on amid the blizzard.

The hikers dug a trench in the snow, Gottlieb said.

Eduard Burceag lay on the ground. His wife was sandwiched between him and Vlad, Gottlieb said. Despite the pleas of his wife and Vlad, he refused to move.

It calls to mind this story often told by Robert Heinlein. And it gives me hope for civilization to endure. Hat tip to The Line is Here.  ..bruce w..

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Category: Commentary, Main

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

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