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Publishers WeeklyArmchair travelers and bona fide adventurers alike will love Woodlief's thrilling newest (after A Wall of White). In 2003, six climbers ascended the Upper Exum Ridge of the Grand Teton in Wyoming as a storm approached. During their descent, an enormous bolt of lightning ("weather's version of an absolute sucker punch") struck their rappelling rope, exploding through the bodies of each of the climbers. One died immediately, some were flung from the cliff, and others suffered severe burns and paralysis. The local rescue team-the revered Jenny Lake Rangers-were called in to extricate the many victims, all before nightfall and in the midst of a relentless storm. Woodlief, a former district attorney and reporter for Sports Illustrated, explains technical details and deftly narrates the experiences of the injured climbers and risk-taking rangers, and her sense of scene and timing is impeccable. She describes climbing as "a drug of self-expression, of calmness, of centering... breaking down the mountain of a problem into many tiny dilemmas." Woodlief brings readers into the heart of these myriad difficulties-of helicopters amid craggy mountain passes, "shadows deepening" as the day draws to a close, a dangling climber bent backwards head to heels. Fans of Jon Krakaeur's Into Thin Air will find in Woodlief an engaging and exciting guide.
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