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Old 05-26-2010, 08:33 PM   #1
ADKian
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At the mercy of the mountains

Being new here I have been reading through a lot of these threads and found that many of them are about missing people, the plane crashes, and other stories and mysteries the park holds. I recently read an amazing book about all of these stories and the searches and results if any that came from them. It was called "At the mercy of the mountains" and I didn't know if anyone here has read it and some thoughts they might have on it, or if you haven't I highly recommend it for anyone that likes to hear about that kind of stuff.
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Old 05-26-2010, 08:49 PM   #2
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I didn't think it was very well written. There's little or no suspense in each story, and it's written in a way that you can guess the outcome of each event before the end of each chapter. Furthermore, there is some question about some of the accuracy of the facts presented in the book.

A much better book, in fact the book that At the Mercy of the Mountains was modeled after, is Nicholas Howe's Not Without Peril, stories of misadventure in the White Mountains.
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Old 05-26-2010, 08:58 PM   #3
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I agree it wasn't wonderfully written, I just enjoyed reading about the various mishaps and tragedy that has happened. I always find it interesting how people get get turned around and panic so quickly. Especially the story in there about the hunter with the GPS that was a mile away from his truck but froze to death in a field. I will for sure check out the book that was modeled after. All in all I did enjoy the book and would recommend it. Which stories are the facts questionable? I'm just wondering so I don't repeat anything that might not be true.
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:05 PM   #4
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I'd rather not get into the specifics on a public online message board.

I agree that reading about misadventures in the woods can be educational and informative... good lessons on "what not to do," so to say.
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:18 PM   #5
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I received a SAR activation call last night. Spent today in 90-degree heat in the woods in the vicinity of Parishville and Rainbow Falls Res looking for a 74 year old woman missing since Friday. It didn't turn out well. bhs.
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Old 05-26-2010, 10:13 PM   #6
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The book was discussed a while back in this thread. Some of the errors are mentioned there. Also in that thread is a link to the author's webpage with a list of corrections and updates.
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:59 AM   #7
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I got that book too, its easy reading, not much of a reader so its taken me 2yr to get half done... but i like the book so far
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:54 AM   #8
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I received a SAR activation call last night. Spent today in 90-degree heat in the woods in the vicinity of Parishville and Rainbow Falls Res looking for a 74 year old woman missing since Friday. It didn't turn out well. bhs.
We (LASAR) got that call out too. Too bad, but glad she was found. Thanks for going.

At the Mercy of the Mountains does have some mistakes for sure. I haven't read the book but I know that details from one search are put into another. On page 258 where he describes the end of the Birchmeyer search mentioning Tad Norton and myself when Steve Ovitt ran off, that whole scene was from another search in nearby Inlet, not the Birchmeyer search. I also had a radio when the helicopter found the victim, so the rest of us knew what was going on.
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Old 05-27-2010, 12:47 PM   #9
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We (LASAR) got that call out too. Too bad, but glad she was found. Thanks for going.

At the Mercy of the Mountains does have some mistakes for sure. I haven't read the book but I know that details from one search are put into another. On page 258 where he describes the end of the Birchmeyer search mentioning Tad Norton and myself when Steve Ovitt ran off, that whole scene was from another search in nearby Inlet, not the Birchmeyer search. I also had a radio when the helicopter found the victim, so the rest of us knew what was going on.
WTF, I feel like id been had now.. Why finish the damn thing with now knowing what i read may not be true... I want my money back!
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Old 05-27-2010, 12:53 PM   #10
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WTF, I feel like id been had now.. Why finish the damn thing with now knowing what i read may not be true... I want my money back!
I didn't say it wasn't true. All those things happenned, just not the way he told it.
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Old 05-27-2010, 02:23 PM   #11
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No book will ever be 100% accurate. That's not to excuse errors, or to say authors shouldn't strive to be error-free, or to say some errors aren't worse than others. But if you don't want to read something because it has errors, you'll never read anything ever again. Especially posts on internet forums
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Old 05-27-2010, 03:43 PM   #12
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No book will ever be 100% accurate. That's not to excuse errors, or to say authors shouldn't strive to be error-free, or to say some errors aren't worse than others. But if you don't want to read something because it has errors, you'll never read anything ever again. Especially posts on internet forums
Well there was this Bridge in sanFransico a guy wanted me to buy and that money would go to good use for that bridge..
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:12 AM   #13
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Hi Adk Keith...

Pete Bronski here, author of At the Mercy and former LASAR member. I recently came across your comment about my "version" of the Birchmeyer search, and wanted to offer this background info: The account I describe is based on multiple independent sources of information, including first-hand interviews with two members of LASAR (including Tad Norton) and a forest ranger who were all on the search, as well as the official NYS DEC SAR report, which I obtained via a Freedom of Information Law request, among other sources of info. Those four primary sources of info all corroborate one another, and form the backbone of the story I describe.

Also, for what it's worth, the Birchmeyer search did have some of its SAR operations based out of Inlet, which you describe as a separate, unrelated incident. While I'm not discounting your take on the Birchmeyer search, is it possible that, in a sense, we're both "right" about the events?

Cheers, Pete
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Old 06-01-2010, 02:52 PM   #14
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Peter, all in all I must say I really enjoyed the book. There are always different sides to every story and people will always have different perspectives on what they see. I think it's great the actual author of the book is here to give his side of the discussion. And as I said earlier I would recommend the book to anyone interested in the topic.
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:57 PM   #15
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Hi Adk Keith...

Pete Bronski here, author of At the Mercy and former LASAR member. I recently came across your comment about my "version" of the Birchmeyer search, and wanted to offer this background info: The account I describe is based on multiple independent sources of information, including first-hand interviews with two members of LASAR (including Tad Norton) and a forest ranger who were all on the search, as well as the official NYS DEC SAR report, which I obtained via a Freedom of Information Law request, among other sources of info. Those four primary sources of info all corroborate one another, and form the backbone of the story I describe.

Also, for what it's worth, the Birchmeyer search did have some of its SAR operations based out of Inlet, which you describe as a separate, unrelated incident. While I'm not discounting your take on the Birchmeyer search, is it possible that, in a sense, we're both "right" about the events?

Cheers, Pete
I would be the first to agree that memory is fallible, including mine. Those were two fairly memorable searches for me. I will PM you and we can discuss it further.

To clarify my position, I totally agree that everything you write happened, and both searches were in the town of Inlet, but the details from one search are just mixed into the other. I just want it clear that I'm not saying anything was made up.

BTW, As I said earlier, I have not read the entire book, but my hat is off to you for putting it together. I can't imagine the effort it took.
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Old 06-01-2010, 06:30 PM   #16
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BTW, As I said earlier, I have not read the entire book, but my hat is off to you for putting it together. I can't imagine the effort it took.
I agree, and my hat is also off to welcome you to the Forum....I hope this will not be your only visit. While I understand your wanting to respond to the thread you found, I hope you will stay a while and look around...

Scott
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:05 PM   #17
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I agree, and my hat is also off to welcome you to the Forum....I hope this will not be your only visit. While I understand your wanting to respond to the thread you found, I hope you will stay a while and look around...

Scott
Yes welcome...And I too will continue with the book. I do find it relaxing but was stunded for a second to think that it was not truthful..
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:12 PM   #18
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Yes welcome...And I too will continue with the book. I do find it relaxing but was stunned for a second to think that it was not truthful..
Rob - just to clarify, from what I've read here and on VFTT - I don't think anyone was saying it wasn't truthful, but perhaps not accurate. Now I think we're hearing that it may be more related to differing perspectives, viewpoints and recollections of the events in question...
Scott
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:27 PM   #19
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For what it's worth, I've read At the Mercy and Not Without Peril and I enjoyed both of them. Reading about the mountains gets me through the times when I can't be hiking.
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:35 PM   #20
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For what it's worth, I've read At the Mercy and Not Without Peril and I enjoyed both of them. Reading about the mountains gets me through the times when I can't be hiking.
If you liked those, you might want to pick up "Death in Yosemite" - documents every death ever in the park...
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