Not Without Peril: 150 Years of Misadventure on the Presedential Range

Howe, Nicholas S.

Published by Appalachian Mountain Club
ISBN 10: 1878239937 / ISBN 13: 9781878239938
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Synopsis: Catalogs the deaths of human visitors to the mountains of New Hampshire's Presidential Range, citing the freezing temperatures, dangerous heights, and fatal mistakes that people make when attempting to trek through the terrain.

Review: Like a piece of granite chipped off a Presidential peak, veteran journalist Nicholas Howe's assessment of misadventure in New Hampshire's rugged mountains has a crisp, puritanical feel that fairly rasps New England. Take his description of the near-vertical (and now well-skied) slope that nearly killed Max Engelhart in 1926: "Tuckerman Ravine is a sort of twin to Huntington Ravine, a left-hand punch into the side of Mount Washington by the same primordial giant that made Huntington with his right." Underlying Not Without Peril is the not-so-subtle message that the Presidential Range, topping out at just over 6,000 feet, is as uncompromising as any other mountain range. After all, these mountains--named for Washington, Lincoln, Madison--are home to some of the most vicious weather recorded on the planet. Howe makes no judgment about those whose misfortunes he chronicles; there are tender moments that manage to stay faithful to a crusty Yankee sensibility, as in the tale of Lizzie Bourne, who died in a snowstorm while huddled in a makeshift lean-to. Howe quotes her uncle George: "She was dead--had uttered no complaint, expressed no regret or fear, but passed silently away." Such sober tales, scrupulously researched, tell the history of a mountain range and its climbers, some of whom are immortalized for their ill-fated treks. It's a gritty read, a touch morbid, but more than compensated for by sharp writing and compelling drama. --Tipton Blish

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Title: Not Without Peril: 150 Years of Misadventure...
Publisher: Appalachian Mountain Club
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: New

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