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Old 08-04-2010, 06:39 AM   #41
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I found Not without Peril to be an excellent book. The theme that kept cropping up was that of people not turning around when weather conditions deteriorated. That, insufficient clothing and a lack of appreciation as to how wicked the weather could be.

The tale of the man dying less than a mile from Madison hut in August was the most poignant. August is a common month for hypothermia deaths.

Who has been in a parking lot with the sunshine pouring down and birds singing only to encounter driving winds, sleet and little or no visibility above tree-line?
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Old 08-04-2010, 08:39 AM   #42
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Hi folks, The information on page 258 is from another search. The day of the find I was aerial searching the area. I picked up tracks, that appeared to be those of a lost subject and not a moose. I radioed the closest Ranger on the ground (John Chambers). We flew to his location and I tossed a harness out of the ship to him then hoisted him into the helicopter. We flew back to the tracks and I inserted him there. During this flight I noticed a set of tracks crossing a large beaver meadow between the lost man tracks and the gate at the end of the road. The tracks were obviously man tracks following a compass as they were staight as an arrow and crossed the meadow at a angle. In the middle of the meadow the tracks had a little side loop. It was obvious that the subject had passed this way twice. Once in each direction. The loop was the return trip in which the subject crossed the stream on a dam rather than fall in it a second time. Falling in the stream the first time is why he had stopped to build a fire using the the gun powder in his rifle shell. The intense cold, hypothermia, confusion, a lack of margin information on his map and other issues is why he decided to turn around 300 yards from the gate at the end of the road. When I spotted the tracks in the meadow I radioed Ranger George and he found the shell, bullet, powder and paper towel partially burnt a short ways into the woods from the meadow. Maybe in his cold hypothermic stupor Birchmeyer thought that his fire would still be going at his campsite where he was found. The record is now straight. Steve O.
Thanks for straightening that out Steve.
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Old 08-06-2010, 04:18 PM   #43
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I just read the book on vacation this week. I found it hard to put down. I gave it to me my brother in law's father who helped on some of the SAR's during the 70's. He almost finished it before the week was up. Interesting stories for sure, unavoidable tragedy and remarkable rescues in others.
I also have read Over the Edge, Death in the Canyon written by a Physician who has helped rescue people out in the Grand Canyon. Great Read.
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Old 10-17-2010, 08:42 PM   #44
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Deep Survival

For those interested in this topic - and the psychological underpinnings of what happens to those who become lost - I'd recommend, "Deep Survival", by Laurance Gonzalez http://www.deepsurvival.com/

I read it some time back, but discovering "At the Mercy" here on the forum, and reading it caused me to go back and re-read "Deep Survival". Riveting, informative stuff.
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Old 10-19-2010, 04:36 PM   #45
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For those interested in this topic - and the psychological underpinnings of what happens to those who become lost - I'd recommend, "Deep Survival", by Laurance Gonzalez http://www.deepsurvival.com/

I read it some time back, but discovering "At the Mercy" here on the forum, and reading it caused me to go back and re-read "Deep Survival". Riveting, informative stuff.
I also read and enjoyed Deep Survival. A well written and informative book. (Although, not much to learn from it as I recall! It basically came down to those who had the best sense of humor and who didn't freak out were the most likely to survive when faced with life or death situations in the woods. )
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Old 12-19-2010, 04:07 PM   #46
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at the mercy..

I read the posts before getting the book and I have just finished reading the book the past week and I am glad I did read it. I am an occasional hiker. I found the book interesting and although I do carry a pack for emergencies now I will carry a few more things in my pack as well. Another area of the book that I found interesting was how quickly the weather/temps can change in the Adirondacks. An interesting read.

Thanks to Peter.
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:06 PM   #47
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I've read both Deep Survival and At the Mercy of the Mountains. At the Mercy is a much easier read but deap survival has a ton of interesting stories and facts in it.

Has anyone ever read Crazy For The Storm by Norman Ollestad its not really like either of these books but it is a really intense story. Super Good
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Old 01-18-2011, 09:13 PM   #48
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Saw this thread and ordered both at the mercy of the mountains and not without peril. Started reading at the mercy of the mountains 2 days ago and I'm almost finished, excellent book and I'm not a big reader.
Anyone know of anymore books like this that have survival stories of the Adirondacks and/or the Catskills?
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:52 AM   #49
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I don't know of any that are northeast specific, but if you really like reading about adventure and tragedy, I'd look into books about polar expeditions. My favorites:

Scott's Journal, by Robert Falcon Scott
The Worst Journey in the World, by Apsley Cherry-Garrard
South, by Ernest Shackleton

Endurance, by Alfred Lansing gets a lot of love (especially around here), but South was written by the man himself and is far superior (not that Endurance is a bad book). South was actually one of Lansing's primary sources for his book.

All three of these books, in fact, were written by people who were involved in the adventures that they relate. I much prefer to read about adventures in words written by people who were actually there, as I always feel that something is lost when a story is retold by an independent observer.

It's especially harrowing to read Scott's final words in his journal before he died.

Cherry-Garrard's book was supposed to be the official report of Scott's fatal expedition, and it includes a passage in which admits that he allowed too much emotion to show through his writing, but makes no apology for it.
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Old 10-14-2011, 11:58 AM   #50
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I remember reading a few other good ones in the past:

Night of the Grizzlys by Jack Olsen (i think)
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer (sp?)

I thought both were worth the time to read. Sad, but a good read.

Oh yeah, if you want to laugh, Bill Bryson--- A Walk In The Woods
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Old 10-15-2011, 02:09 AM   #51
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I picked up Mercy of the Mountains at With Pipe and Book. I thought it was a great read and sent it on to my friend in Ireland who hikes with me in the Adirondacks. I often think of these stories in my own adventures and try to learn from them; thinking I might pick up a tip on how to survive if I was in a similar situation. I have, in my old age, become fallible and merely mortal, and tend to carry far more safety equipment than I ever did when I was young, even for short hikes. I know that safety is not the only reason people read these, there is something gripping about these tales of survival and unexplained disappearances. The one that haunts me the most is the story of the college student who left the lean-to in the snow-storm. For whatever reason, that really scared me.

I would love to see a book about paranormal experiences, UFO encounters, and unexplained phenomena in the Adirondacks....

Another wonderful adventure - mystery type book I recently read was the Lost City of Z, describing Percy Fawcett's exploration of the Amazon. Another one was The Land of the White Death about a Russian ship entrapped in the polar ice.
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:42 PM   #52
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In the Land of the White Death is an excellent read and beautifully written. Highly recommended if you appreciate adventure and a glimpse into a time when people had to face the elements with what we would consider woefully inadequate gear.
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:54 PM   #53
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Check on amazon, there is a ton of books about paranormal happenings in the adirondacks. Haunted northern new york has about 7 or 8 in that series alone. One of my favorite haunting stories is that of big moose lake. Being that it's the spirit of the holiday I do a lot of reading and research on the topic in the adirondacks.

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Originally Posted by dmartenvt View Post
I picked up Mercy of the Mountains at With Pipe and Book. I thought it was a great read and sent it on to my friend in Ireland who hikes with me in the Adirondacks. I often think of these stories in my own adventures and try to learn from them; thinking I might pick up a tip on how to survive if I was in a similar situation. I have, in my old age, become fallible and merely mortal, and tend to carry far more safety equipment than I ever did when I was young, even for short hikes. I know that safety is not the only reason people read these, there is something gripping about these tales of survival and unexplained disappearances. The one that haunts me the most is the story of the college student who left the lean-to in the snow-storm. For whatever reason, that really scared me.

I would love to see a book about paranormal experiences, UFO encounters, and unexplained phenomena in the Adirondacks....

Another wonderful adventure - mystery type book I recently read was the Lost City of Z, describing Percy Fawcett's exploration of the Amazon. Another one was The Land of the White Death about a Russian ship entrapped in the polar ice.
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Old 01-28-2015, 08:45 AM   #54
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Finally got to read this book (At the Mercy of the Mountains) and I found it to be an excellent read. I enjoyed how the author began with a search and wove in other historical info in each chapter.
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Old 10-15-2020, 04:04 PM   #55
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Just finished reading this book and I enjoyed it (mistakes and all). There certainly seems to be enough material to make a second volume...

Anyone know the location of Wilder Mountain? I grew up somewhat near where that incident took place and I am not familiar with that hill.
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