Feeling on top of the world – A boyfriend set up an amazing wedding proposal to his girlfriend atop a 8,365ft VOLCANO.
Andrew Parroccini, 29, asked his girlfriend Jennifer Walsh, 31, to marry him after backpacking to reach the peak of Mount St. Helens.
Miss Walsh said: “I loved that he proposed on top of Mount St. Helens. We hiked a lot over the spring to make sure we’d be up for the challenge, so this was the culmination of a project we’d undertaken together.”
Mr Parroccini, a web designer, met Miss Walsh, a financial controller, through mutual friends when he was living in Pittsburgh and she was living in Baltimore.
He said: “We did a long distance relationship for a while and then she got a job in Pittsburgh. After a while I asked her to move in with me.”
“She has two large Great Danes which she brought with her too, so we have a house full. It’s wonderful.”
Mr Parroccuni and Miss Walsh, who have been together for two years, have a mutual love of backpacking and have hiked the length of America’s east coast.
He said: “To climb Mount St. Helens you need a pass, which we applied for six months in advance.
“I had been thinking about proposing for a few months before I did it and once we got the passes for the climb I thought to myself it would be a great time to pop the question.
“It was a great opportunity and I knew hiking up a volcano would be memorable.”
The climb up Mount St. Helens was part of a week-long backpacking trip.
He said: “I hid the ring down at the bottom of my pack where she wouldn’t be able to find it.”
The walk to the summit was extremely difficult with the terrain presenting obstacles ranging from small rocks to giant boulders.
In May 1980 Mount St. Helens erupted reducing the height of the mountain’s summit from 9,677 ft to 8,365 ft when the top was blown off.
They got to within 800 feet of the summit before stormclouds began to roll in over the mountain.
Mr Parroccini said: “We didn’t want to get stuck up the mountain in that weather, so we had a breather and took in some water.
“I told her that I adore our lives together and she just thought that I was being sweet. She said she loved our life too and then I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me.”
Mr Parroccini presented Miss Walsh with a diamond engagement ring. Miss Walsh said yes straight away.
He used a cheaper ring during the proposal as he didn’t want to lose it on the climb but they are currently choosing a new ring.
He said: “It’s difficult but its definitely something we will do again. Maybe not every year, but for the big anniversaries it would be a great adventure.”
Miss Walsh said: “I wasn’t expecting it so I was really surprised. I couldn’t believe he’d been hiking all morning with that task in front of him.
“The whole way down I was excited and giddy, so I had to try really hard to focus on not slipping.
“We were proud to have completed the climb and having him pop the question up there was really special, but I would have said yes no matter where he asked me.”
The wedding is planned for February 2015. The proposal took place in July this year.
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