Not Without Peril, Tenth Anniversary Edition: 150 Years of Misadventure on the Presidential Range of New Hampshire

Overview

Among the most dangerous mountains in the world, Mount Washington has challenged adventurers for centuries with its severe weather. From the days when gentlefolk ascended the heights in hoop skirts and wool suits to today's high-tech assaults on wintry summits, this book offers extensive and intimate profiles of people who found trouble on New Hampshire's Presidential Range, from the nineteenth century through present day. Veteran journalist Nicholas Howe draws on his investigative skills and familiarity with the...

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Not Without Peril, Tenth Anniversary Edition: 150 Years of Misadventure on the Presidential Range of New Hampshire

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Overview

Among the most dangerous mountains in the world, Mount Washington has challenged adventurers for centuries with its severe weather. From the days when gentlefolk ascended the heights in hoop skirts and wool suits to today's high-tech assaults on wintry summits, this book offers extensive and intimate profiles of people who found trouble on New Hampshire's Presidential Range, from the nineteenth century through present day. Veteran journalist Nicholas Howe draws on his investigative skills and familiarity with the mountains of his childhood to create this gripping collection. The result is a compelling story about our changing relationship with the mountains we love and the risks they pose. This Tenth Anniversary Edition includes a new afterword by Nicholas Howe, with commentary on how our relationship with the Presidential Range has evolved over the last decade.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
From a distance, New Hampshire's Mount Washington strikes one more as a subject for art than as a serious challenge for climbing. At 6,288 feet, the highest mountain in the Northeast is a pipsqueak next to Everest and other towering Himalayan peaks, but history has proven it not much less deadly. In addition to nearly 140 hiking fatalities since the mid-19th century, mishaps on the mountain necessitate approximately 120 rescues each year. Nicholas Howe's Not Without Peril, now in its second edition, chronicles all these fascinating "Quiet Monster" misadventures with humane precision. This could be a life-saving read for area visitors.
From the Publisher
Praise for the First Edition of Not Without Peril:

“Nick Howe has combined extensive research with his rich personal knowledge to weave an articulate tale of adventure, challenge, and  tragedy. Today’s mountain travelers can ignore these historic lessons only at their own peril.”

- Peter Crane, Director of Programs, Mount Washington Observatory, and Member, Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue

KLIATT
At 6288 feet, Mount Washington is the highest peak east of the Mississippi and north of the Carolinas. Mt. Everest is nearly 23,000 feet higher and the subject of an avalanche of books. The most popular ones seem to focus on disaster, from Mallory and Irvine's ill-fated 1924 expedition through the 1996 tragedy first chronicled by Jon Krakauer. I have read a good number of the Everest books, and most have been worthwhile. Now a local author has chipped in with a gripping history of lethal misadventure on this relatively minor mountain in my backyard. Make no mistake, Mount Washington can be terribly unfriendly—between 1849 and 1999 there were 128 deaths on its windswept slopes. All 128 are noted in a chilling appendix, but the riveting core of the work is Howe's scrupulously researched account of some of the more bizarre and bewildering dramas that have unfolded over the years. For instance, in September 1855, young Lizzie Bourne perished just short of a safe haven on the summit. In July 1900, two experienced climbers lost their way in a summer blizzard and died of exposure. Over the first five months of 1994, five folks lost their lives in separate incidents; a sobering period Howe calls the deadliest season. In all likelihood, hikers will continue to disregard the perils posed by Mount Washington and will pay the ultimate price for their lack of respect. Hopefully, this compelling narrative will both entertain and caution. Climbing Mount Washington is a marvelous experience. It is very accessible, but it can be very, very dangerous. This book belongs on the top shelf of mountaineering literature alongside Into Thin Air and Sir Edmund Hillary's View from the Summit. KLIATTCodes: SA*—Exceptional book, recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2000, Globe Pequot Press, Appalachian Mountain Club, 304p. illus. maps., $14.95. Ages 16 to adult. Reviewer: Randy M. Brough; Lib. Dir., Franklin P.L., Franklin, NH , September 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 5)
Dr. Peter Crane, Director of Programs, Mount Washington Observatory
“Nick Howe has combined extensive research with his rich personal knowledge to weave an articulate tale of adventure, challenge, and tragedy. Today’s mountain travelers can ignore these historic lessons only at their own peril.”
Lloyd Feriss
“A masterfully written book chronicling 150 years of disaster and near-disaster in these rugged mountains, it serves as a warning to all overzealous newcomers to the range.”
Michael O’Connor
“Howe’s well-written, diligently researched chronicle not only recounts the sad ends of the victims—it is cautionary to note that more have died in the three seasons other than winter—but is chock-full of mountain lore and history.”
Frank , D.O., medical director of Mountain Rescue Service, founder and co-director of SOLO
“A well-crafted collection of stories, exciting yet sobering, and hard to put down. As a hiker and rescuer living in the shadow of Mount Washington, I have gained an even greater respect for the mountains. Never again will I look at them in the same light after having read Not Without Peril.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781934028322
  • Publisher: Appalachian Mountain Club Books MA
  • Publication date: 10/14/2009
  • Edition description: 10th Anniversary Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 376,489
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Nicholas Howe has been a journalist since 1977. His widely-published work focuses on outdoor recreation and history.

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Table of Contents

Foreword xi

1 In the Beginning: 1849 Frederick Strickland 1

2 Gentlefolk Essay the Heights: 1855 Lizzie Bourne 14

3 The Man Who Collected Views: 1855 Dr. Benjamin Lincoln Ball 26

4 Calamity in the Unroofed Temple: Sewall Faunce 47

5 A Presidential Brain Trust: 1886 William Curtis Allan Ormsbee 55

6 The Grand Scheme: 1912 John Keenan 76

7 The Mayor of Porky Gulch Takes Office: 1926 Max Engelhart 93

8 The Wreck of Old No 1: 1929 Daniel Rossiter 115

9 Summer People Go North: 1933 Jessie Whitehead 124

10 Wrong-Headed from the Beginning: 1933 Simon Joseph 141

11 A Deadly Crossing in Great Gulf: 1934 Jerome Pierce 155

12 The Choice of Presidents: 1938 Joe Caggiano 164

13 Death Comes in Small Parts: 1952 Raymond Davis 177

14 The Summit as Home 182

15 From Homespun to High Tech: 1954 Philip Longnecker Jacques Parysko 198

16 A Question of Life or Death: 1986 MacDonald Barr 216

17 The Deadliest Season: 1994, 1994, 1994, 1994 Derek Tinkham Moroe Couper Erik Lattey Cheryl Weingarten Sarah Nicholson 251

Afterword 285

Acknowledgemnts 289

Appendix: Deaths on Mount Washington 293

Image Credits 301

About the Author 303

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