OGDEN -- A grueling Independence Day hike to benefit refugees of North Korea might not have gone exactly as planned, but the mission was accomplished nonetheless.
Brett Jones, an Ogden resident, and Shane Farver, a Weber State University multimedia journalism instructor, both attempted to summit Willard Peak, Ben Lomond, Lewis Peak and Mount Ogden, all within 24 hours on the Fourth of July.
Jones made all four peaks, reaching Mount Ogden around 1 a.m. Friday, but Farver, running out of water and battling dehydration, had to bow out after the pair hit Lewis Peak.
The effort started around 2 a.m. Thursday.
"Once the sun came out, it was extraordinarily hot," Farver said. "I had been up for about 30 hours by the end (of my portion of the hike), and my mind was playing tricks on me and my body just wouldn't continue."
Jones, who didn't finish his journey until the wee hours of Friday morning, could not be reached for comment.
The pair hiked as part of an effort to raise money for Liberty in North Korea, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing North Korean refugees from China and relocating them to safe havens like the United States and South Korea.
North Koreans who escape into China are still in danger of being extradited back to North Korea, where they face prison camps, forced labor and possible death.
The hike is one of many efforts on the part of LiNK Utah, a rescue team formed as part of Liberty in North Korea that has the goal of raising $10,000, enough to free four North Korean refugees.
Farver said that, while he didn't complete the hike, he still feels his effort helped bring the issue to light and even gave him a deeper appreciation for those suffering in North Korea.
"For me, the hike was a really difficult journey," Farver said. "But it pales in comparison to the journey the North Korean refugees have to take to get out of their situation and find a better life."
Those who wish to donate to the cause can visit www.utahlink.org.