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A Bolt from the Blue: The Epic True Story of Danger, Daring, and Heroism at 13,000 Feet
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A Bolt from the Blue: The Epic True Story of Danger, Daring, and Heroism at 13,000 Feet

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  128 ratings  ·  25 reviews

On the afternoon of July 26, 2003, six vacationing mountain climbers ascended the peak of the Grand Teton in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Rain and colliding air currents blew in, and soon a massive electrical charge began to build. As the group began to retreat from its location, a colossal lightning bolt struck
ebook, 256 pages
Published June 12th 2012 by Atria Books
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Perrin Pring
So, depending on who you are, you might find A Bolt From the Blue a little more enthralling than I did. To begin, I've spent over 15 years around high angle set ups, I've climbed the Grand a few times (although never the route described in the book) and I lived in the Teton area for years. My problem with the book was that Woodlief spent so much time giving back stories and explaining how things worked, I felt that she really slowed the forward momentum of the narrative.

That said, I think that
I read about halfway through this book before I gave up. It did contain quite a bit of interesting information about the different methods used to get rescuers to injured people by helicopter in emergency situations. However, I kept feeling that all the information about the "how" of the rescue, going back in time to see how the rescuers were trained, etc., was padding because the author didn't have enough story to tell with the main event--the rescue itself after the lightning strike. That may ...more
This book had some interesting material near the end,
but the author took a 50 page story and crammed in a lot of unimportant material to pad the book.
He also jumped around a lot,
a little about the accident,
then a lot about the personal lives of the various people.

Their personal lives were uninteresting,
they were a bunch of average people who just happened to come together that day.

This story had a lot of personal meaning for me tho,
I used to climb a lot, and have been on high peaks when lig
Oct 07, 2012 Ralph rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Ralph by: Library New Book Section
This was a very nice book about an event that I had heard about in the news, so it was nice to see a book based on it. I've always had an interest in mountaineering, and reading about it is always interesting to me. I learned a lot about the state of the art in helicopter rescue and the Jenny Lake Rangers. I thought the book was a great blend of documentary and story-telling.
Ben read this book in the airplane on our trip to MN. I read about a third of it over his shoulder. The writing seemed very technical and the author tended to verge into random back-stories and explanations.
Saw this book in the Grand Teton NP bookstore and noted it down to read later this summer. Fascinating true story which I found particularly interesting after a week of hiking in the Grand Tetons. I didn't love the narration - too technical vocabulary at times that made it hard for me to imagine, and I found her quite repetitive in some points - but I found I couldn't put it down over Labor Day weekend and had to keep reading to find out the fate of "my" climbers. It opened my eyes to the herois ...more
An amazing story. Sad, but amazing too. The book is not at all well written, but the story speaks for itself.
Great story, interesting facts, great detail of events. The the writing was, eh?
Mara Zeman
Having read and enjoyed titles like "Into the Wild" by Jon Krakauer, when I discovered this one I thought I'd give it a try. Though I am not terribly athletic and have no knowledge of or experience with climbing, I nonetheless found this book completely riveting, so much so that I ended up reading it cover to cover in one sitting!

The book is an alternately harrowing and uplifting account of the attempted rescue of six climbers struck by lightning while attempting to summit the Grand Teton in Jac
Edward H. Busse, III
Another winner from Jennifer Woodlief!! I read her first book - A Wall of White - and I got hooked on her brand of storytelling and the actual stories she's telling. Her stories are about ordinary people thrust into extraordinary situations and how they find it in themselves to perform heroic acts in the effort to save lives. A Bolt from the Blue is a great story - Jennifer gets you on the mountain with a group of Park Rangers that risk their own lives to rescue 13 stranded climbers. She gives y ...more
Pretty quick read. A summary of events that resulted from a lightning strike on a group of climbers in the Tetons and the resulting rescue. Woodlief spends most of her time describing the rescue, while interspersing personal history of the climbers and rescuers, describing lightning, helicopter rescues and a few other issues related to the tragedy and resulting rescue. I like that she also spends a little time at the end of the book following up on a few of those who were injured and the continu ...more
Kevin Mcclelion
Crazy story...basic lesson, don't get caught up in the tetons during a lightning storm.

not alot of info in this book, mainly how the jenny lake rangers are hired and work together, in addition to the rescue.
Deb D'angelo
Worst book I have ever read or tried to read. I have tried to read it 2 different times within a year span. Couldn't do it, couldn't finish it. Too much rambling, no meat in the story. The story if you can call it that, is not what the title or the cover leads you to believe. I really tried the second time to finish it but nope. Don't attempt this one.
This is the new book by my daughter-in-law, Jennifer Woodlief. I really liked it. The pace of the story is right. Good to get information on mountain climbing and rescue and lightening storms. But I also really like getting to know the rescuers and "patients", as the hikers being rescued were called. If you like this book, read her book "wall of white" about an unanticipated avalanche in a California ski resort.
Marjorie Elwood
This was an interesting look at one incredible rescue of some climbers who were struck by lightning while attempting to summit the Grand Teton. Although I enjoyed reading the book, it was pretty slow in spots because the author went into too much detail for me. There was a section when she discussed the flight mechanisms of helicopters, which didn't add to the story.
In the spirit of if not quite the same caliber of Into Thin Air, I did enjoy this book about an amazing rescue of several climbers struck by lightning on Grand Teton. The book is a quick read despite having some redundancy to it. The survival of a couple of the climbers is pretty amazing and the job that the Jenny Lake Climbing rangers did was truly heroic.
Rich Draves
This was a fun read. It gives a great picture of the Jenny Lake climbing rangers through telling the story of a notable rescue on the Grand Teton. Interesting to climbers but also very accessible to non-climbers. On the negative side, it felt slightly padded/repetitive in places, and perhaps overused superlatives.
Not as good as other books of its kind, but a compelling story. I am not one to fall asleep while reading, but this book literally out me to sleep through much of the beginning. It wasn't until the author finally got to the accident and rescue that I was able to read with sincere interest.
Ronnie Justice
This is a good story, but the writing leads a lot to be desired. Literary devices are hinted at but never come through. There are flashbacks inside of flashbacks inside of flashbacks. If I had followed the story in the papers, I probably wouldn't have finished it.
A lightning bolt strikes 6 people climbing in the Tetons, leading to a dramatic and never before attempted rescue effort from local rangers. Powerful story, well told, and a good reminder of how harsh Mother Nature can be when you are in the wilderness.
A gripping story that pays homage to the climbing rangers who raced the clock to get multiple victims of lightening strike off the Grand Teton before darkness grounds their helicopter. The book is overly padded, but the central story is well told.
I knew this story very well as my high school fried and his family were the climbers involved in this story. It was neat to read the details from the perspective of the rescuers.
I'm fascinated by dangerous rescues and this did not disappoint. Fast-paced and detailed, I couldn't hardly put it down.
Sudhanshu Gupta
A brilliant story of courage and professionalism.
Steve Parcell
Steve Parcell marked it as to-read
Sep 15, 2015
Lynn Sheldon
Lynn Sheldon marked it as to-read
Sep 06, 2015
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