SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - One of four people missing on Mount Rainier is the owner of a local restaurant.
Sork "Erik" Yang, 52, and a climbing partner were due off the mountain a week ago.
Elite mountain rescue crews have battled extreme winter weather over the past week to search for Yang and his climbing partner, Seol Hee Jin of Korea. They were due back Jan. 16.
Also missing are campers Mark Vucich, 37, of San Diego and 30-year-old Michelle Trojanowski of Atlanta, who were due to return Jan. 15.
Yang owns and operates the Cottage House Restaurant on Mohawk Boulevard in Springfield.
Frances Nwell is the former owner of the restaurant, and she's worried.
"I certainly hope they find him because he's just great," she told KVAL News.
"When he came along, he remodeled the whole inside and did all kinds of things in there," she said. "He worked all over, but mostly out with the customers and talking to everyone, keeping everything going."
Yang is married and has a daughter, who attends Oregon State University in Corvallis.
KVAL News spoke to Yang's business partner, who said Yang was an experienced hiker.
A severe storm blasted Mount Rainier last week, dumping feet of new snow. Rescue crews got a break in the weather on Monday and resumed the search, to no avail.
That adds to Nwell's worries for her friend.
"Every time he'd see me, he'd say 'you, me, free coffee' - so that was nice and we'd have a cup of coffee together in the mornings," she said.