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Snowstruck In The Grip of Avalanches

2005 non-fiction book by Jill Fredson

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Human nature may be the biggest obstacle in preventing avalanche deaths.

  • Feb 1, 2010
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Human beings are a pretty stubborn lot.  People insist on building expensive new abodes along the San Andreas fault.  Others ignore the dangers posed by hurricanes and build homes and hotels right on the water all along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States.  It is not a question of "if" devastation will strike these areas but rather a question of "when".   Likewise, over the past quarter century as people play and build in ever more remote areas of this country the threat of death or serious injury at the hands of an avalanche have increased dramatically.  This is particularly true in the State of Alaska.  For more than two decades author Jill Fredston and her husband Doug Fesler have been fighting the good fight in our nation’s largest state trying to educate everyone about the dangers posed by avalanches.   The results have been mixed.  In "Snowstruck:  In The Grip of Avalanches" Jill Fredston speaks of the exhiliration of working in the wilds of Alaska and of the heartbreak when individuals gamble and lose their lives to an avalanche.  What is so frustrating to people like Jill and Doug is that most of the folks who are killed in avalanches are experienced individuals who really should know better.  In "Snowstruck" Jill Fredston explains how she goes about the task of predicting where an avalanche might occur and what is involved in deliberately triggering them with explosives.  In addition, you will accompany Jill and Doug on a number of heart wrenching rescue missions.  You will quickly come to understand how frequently these rescue missions become recovery missions.  It is very sad particularly in cases where Doug and Jill know the victim.

I found "Snowstruck:  In The Grip of Avalanches" to be particularly interesting because being from Rhode Island it is a topic I knew virtually nothing about.  Impressive photographs at the beginning of each chapter further illustrate the magnitude and destructive power of avalanches.  If you enjoy the great outdoors this is a book you are certainly going to want to read.  Recommended.
Human nature may be the biggest obstacle in preventing avalanche deaths. Human nature may be the biggest obstacle in preventing avalanche deaths. Human nature may be the biggest obstacle in preventing avalanche deaths. Human nature may be the biggest obstacle in preventing avalanche deaths.

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Paul Tognetti ()
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I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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About this book


Every year around the globe, people cross paths with avalanches—some massive, some no deeper than a pizza box—with deadly results. Avalanche expert Jill Fredston stalks these so-called freaks of nature, forecasting where and when they will strike, deliberately triggering them with explosives, teaching potential victims how to stay alive, and leading rescue efforts when tragedy strikes. 
In Snowstruck, Fredston draws on decades of personal experience to take “avalanches out of the statistical realm and into the human one” (Skiing Magazine): a skier making what may prove his final decision, a victim buried so tightly that he can’t move a finger, rescuers racing both time and weather, forecasters treading the line between reasonable risk and danger. Fredston brings to life the awesome forces of nature that can turn the mountains deadly—and the equally inexo­rable forces of human nature that lure us time and again into treacherous terrain.

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ISBN-10: 0151012490
ISBN-13: 978-0151012497
Author: Jill Fredston
Genre: Instructional, Natural Disasters, Outdoors & Nature
Publisher: Harcourt
Date Published: November 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
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