Sam Page's Reviews > Crazy for the Storm: A Memoir of Survival

Crazy for the Storm by Norman Ollestad
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's review
Dec 04, 2009

really liked it
Recommended for: Adults who are not too squeamish
Read in November, 2009


Most people try mountaineering by choice, but others are forced into it by circumstance. Such was the case for Norman Ollestad. In February 1979, a small plane carrying the 11-year old boy crashed into Ontario Peak in the San Gabriel Mountains of southern California. The injured boy found himself perched precariously in a steep, icy chute in the upper reaches of a drainage just north/northwest of the summit. Reluctantly leaving his dead father and pilot behind, Norman and Sandra, his father's girlfriend, began a terrifying, inch-by-inch descent of the steep chute, roughly 3,000 feet above Chapman Ranch. Unfortunately, after descending just a few feet, Sandra slipped and plummeted about 2,000 feet to her death. What followed for the young Norman was a harrowing descent that called upon every piece of mountain wisdom imparted by his father over the years.

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