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Memorial Hall Library

Critical Hours: Search and Rescue in the White Mountains

Sandy Stott

Author Sandy Stott will share his book, Critical Hours: Search and Rescue in the White Mountains, which is due to be released on April 3, 2018. A misread map, a sudden storm, a forgotten headlamp—and suddenly a leisurely hike turns into a treacherous endeavor. In the past decade, inexpensive but sophisticated navigation devices and mobile phones have led to alarming levels of overconfidence on the trail. Adding to this worrisome trend, the increasing popularity of ventures into mountainous terrain has led hikers seeking solitude—or an adrenaline rush—into increasingly remote or risky forays. Sandy Stott, the “Accidents” editor at the journal of the Appalachian Mountain Club, delivers both a history and a celebration of the search and rescue workers who save countless lives in the White Mountains—along with a plea for us not to take their steadfastness and bravery for granted. Filled with tales of astonishing courage and sobering tragedy, Critical Hours will appeal to outdoor enthusiasts and armchair adventurers alike.--University Press of New England.

“You need this book whether you’re a White Mountains veteran or someone slinging on a pack for the first time. Stott’s wise and urbane writing on the search and rescue culture has us compulsively reading these narratives of (mostly) loss, and of those who rescue us from our own misjudgments. Here’s the last word in staying safe and self-aware in the mountains. Add this book to your ten essentials as required reading!” Laura Waterman, author of Forest and Crag: A History of Hiking,Trail Blazing, and Adventure in the Northeast Mountains.

Sandy Stott is a former editor of AMC's journal Appalachia, a longtime English teacher, and a lifelong wanderer in the White Mountains.