Encounters in Avalanche Country
A History of Survival in the Mountain West, 1820-1920
Every winter settlers of the Canadian and US Mountain West couldexpect to lose dozens of lives to deadly avalanches. This constantthreat to trappers, miners, railway workers – and their families– forced individuals and communities to develop knowledge, sharestrategies, and band together as they tried to survive the extremeconditions of "avalanche country." This book uncoversauthentic stories of survival struggles, frightening avalanches, andhow local knowledge challenged legal traditions that defined avalanchesas acts of god. Combining disaster, mining, railroad, and skihistories with the theme of severe winter weather, it provides a newand fascinating perspective on the settlement of the mountain west.
Diana Di Stefano is an assistant professor ofhistory at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.
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