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The White Death: Tragedy and Heroism in an Avalanche Zone
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The White Death: Tragedy and Heroism in an Avalanche Zone

3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  71 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
In 1969, five young men from Montana set out to accomplish what no one had before: to scale the sheer north face of Mt. Cleveland, Glacier National Park's tallest mountain, in winter. Two days later tragedy struck: they were buried in an avalanche so deep that their bodies would not be discovered until the following June. The White Death is the riveting account of that fat ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 13th 2001 by Anchor (first published September 19th 2000)
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Comtesse DeSpair
Jan 30, 2012 Comtesse DeSpair rated it really liked it
I actually got this book by accident. I meant to order the book The White Death: A History of Tuberculosis by Thomas Dormandy. Unsurprisingly, I put this book aside and ignored it for a few years to punish it for not being the book I wanted to read. Finally, running out of unread material, I rescued it from oblivion and took it with me as my in-flight read last month. And, apart from a couple of chapters that absolutely DARE you to skip them, it was a pretty interesting read.

The story centers o
...more
Steve Fisher
Aug 02, 2011 Steve Fisher rated it it was amazing
Reminiscent of Norman Maclean's Young Men and Fire, Peter Matthiessen's The Snow Leopard, and Night of the Grizzlies by Jack Olson, McKay Jenkins' The White Death is a gripping tale of a star-crossed climbing family, as well as an informative study of mountains, the nature of snow and avalanches. Tragic and poignant.
Patty Garland
Dec 10, 2011 Patty Garland rated it liked it
Just plain sad.
Edward H. Busse, III
Jul 02, 2011 Edward H. Busse, III rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-owned
If there was a 4.5 star rating...this would've been perfect. The book starts out slow with very in-depth, personal descriptions of each of the main "players" in the tragedy. For me, this was a frustrating part of the book as I kept wondering...OK...when do we get to the meat of the tragedy. But the story soon takes off and you are thrust into the heart-pounding events leading up to the avalanche and the subsequent search/rescue and eventual recovery of the boys' bodies. In corresponding chapters ...more
Daniel Watkins
Aug 29, 2015 Daniel Watkins rated it liked it
Powerful message and an important story about the dangers offered by alpine terrain. The book has a mixture of history and science surrounding a story of a group of climbers who were killed by an avalanche, and the rescue effort that followed. The book comments on the cavalier approach wealthy society takes toward mountains - magazines encouraging people to ski down deadly chutes, building resorts high in the Alps and the Rockies. I wonder if the book was originally written in magazine installme ...more
Barbara Haller
Interesting read. Basically the story of 5 young men who tried to climb the north face of Mt, Cleveland in winter. It all ends tragically. Were they too young, too foolhardy? Or was it just an instance of being in wrong place at the wrong time. The reader really is left to draw their own conclusion. In the first half of the book the story of the boys is told and contrasted with a lot of snow information. Some is fascinating some quite too technical.
Steve
Aug 16, 2015 Steve rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Adam
Oct 08, 2015 Adam rated it it was amazing
A Krakauer-caliber exploration with an important local connection to the park and mountains I know and love, cut through with plenty of compelling history and science of avalanche and winter mountaineering.
Dawn
Jul 31, 2012 Dawn rated it did not like it
More of a guide to deadly avalanche's across the world, than a story of the 5 climbers tragic death. Interesting, but repetitive.
Katrinka
Jul 02, 2012 Katrinka rated it liked it
I'll never again think of snow as innocent or friendly.
Amanda
Apr 22, 2014 Amanda rated it liked it
Meh. Interesting if you like avalanches. The writing wasn't my favorite. This likely suffered from being preceded by Into Thin Air.
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