They were about 4,000 feet high, standing in a rockslide roughly three-quarters of the way up Mount Katahdin, the tallest peak in Maine, when they said goodbye. It was 4 p.m., with just a few hours of daylight left, and Stacey Kozel and her friend, Patsy Remington, decided to go in opposite directions.
Kozel would go up and spend the night on the dark and foreboding mountain.
Remington would go down and sleep.
Kozel planned to find a place to hide from the elements among the giant boulders that were just above her — a dangerous proposition on any night, and especially so on this October evening, with howling winds, plummeting temperatures and an angry rainstorm.
Adding to the danger is the fact Kozel is paralyzed and walks with braces. But she was willing to risk a night alone on Katahdin because getting to Katahdin’s summit — another mile and a half or so …