Rating: 5 / 5
This book describes many of the harrowing experiences that hikers have gone through while trekking or skiing in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. While this book does not discuss lightweight backpacking, it does a great job of showing the reader just how fragile life can be while hiking in the wilderness (especially above treeline). While some could say that the book is morbid (most of its "characters" die in the wilds), I believe that it goes a long way into keeping the reader "honest." A great way to learn is to see just how bad "just" one mistake can really be. Some of the people who die in this book are experienced and perish because of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, others are simply unprepared or lack the knowledge which could have saved their lives. This book both scared me and invigorated me to improve every part of what I do in the wilderness. I think that every hiker and outdoorsman should read it and reflect on its message. While the experiences of the characters may never happen to us, it is nice to know just how merciless Mother Nature can be and how our choices make all the difference. It has truly changed how I view the fragility of life, and how the extreme enjoyment I experience in the wilds must be balanced with the awareness of the responsibility that comes with being there.