Encounters in Avalanche Country
A History of Survival in the Mountain West, 1820-1920
Every winter settlers of the Canadian and US Mountain West could expect to lose dozens of lives to deadly avalanches. This constant threat to trappers, miners, railway workers – and their families – forced individuals and communities to develop knowledge, share strategies, and band together as they tried to survive the extreme conditions of "avalanche country." This book uncovers authentic stories of survival struggles, frightening avalanches, and how local knowledge challenged legal traditions that defined avalanches as acts of god. Combining disaster, mining, railroad, and ski histories with the theme of severe winter weather, it provides a new and fascinating perspective on the settlement of the mountain west.
Diana Di Stefano is an assistant professor of history at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.
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