The White Cascade: The Great Northern Railway Disaster and America's Deadliest Avalanche

The White Cascade: The Great Northern Railway Disaster and America's Deadliest Avalanche

by Gary Krist
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The White Cascade: The Great Northern Railway Disaster and America's Deadliest Avalanche by Gary Krist

"Krist does wonders . . . [He] describes the frantic rescue efforts . . . and the malevolent, unending storm. In a thrilling, climactic chapter, he conjures forth the avalanche."—The New York Times

In February 1910, a monstrous, record-breaking blizzard hit the Northwest. Nowhere was the danger more terrifying than near a tiny town called Wellington, perched high in the Cascade Mountains, where a desperate situation evolved: two trainloads of cold, hungry passengers and their crews found themselves marooned. For days, an army of the Great Northern Railroad's most dedicated men worked to rescue the trains, but just when escape seemed possible, the unthinkable occurred—a colossal avalanche tumbled down, sweeping the trains over the steep slope and down the mountainside. Centered on the astonishing spectacle of our nation's deadliest avalanche, The White Cascade is the masterfully told story of a never-before-documented tragedy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780805083293
Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 02/01/2008
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 358,477
Product dimensions: 5.28(w) x 7.91(h) x 0.96(d)

About the Author

Gary Krist is the prizewinning author of the novels Bad Chemistry, Chaos Theory, and Extravagance, and of two short-story collections, The Garden State and Bone by Bone. His stories, articles, and travel pieces have been featured in noteworthy magazines, including National Geographic Traveler, GQ, and Esquire. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with his wife and daughter.

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White Cascade 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wish I had read this book several years ago. I used to live in the town of Leavenworth, WA mentioned in the book. My nephew and I hiked the Iron Goat Trail which used to be the Great Northern line west out of Wellington. We hiked through the old short wooden tunnels leading up to Wellington. The last snowshed is long and damp. Close to the end there is a walk out pier over the ravine. Along the railings are pictures and stories of that fateful day....week. You can look down the ravine and you can still see pieces of the train left there 100 years ago. We then turned east and walked through the old 2 mile tunnel that you read about in the book as the passengers hope for shelter. This is a totaly interesting story told in great detail for Gary Krist. I would consider it a must read for any railroad fans.
mogeyman More than 1 year ago
A great story about a little-known railway disaster high in the Cascade mountains in the winter of 1910. Like the Titanic, this catastrophe was the result of Gilded Age capitalist hubris and unusual natural phenomena working together to create the ideal conditions for loss of life. The human interest stories are fascinating.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
we'll written and a pleasure to read---definitely recommended
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read which had a perfect blend of human intrest, social insight, and mother nature - resulting in a captivating telling of truely tragic events. I hope to someday see the pass where man and business came face to face with a brutal untameable wilderness, were so many lives were lost under the increadable circumstances that played out those temptuous days on the mountian.
jeann More than 1 year ago
I read this in just a few sittings it was extremely well written and exciting to read. This was riveting all the way through. Amazing recreating of the details and people involved.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A well written story about a terrible but probably little known railroad disaster that happened in 1910 in the state or Washington. The author did extensive research of the facts and the people involved and wove it into a story that reads like a novel. Read this one if you are interested in railroad history.
CajunDS More than 1 year ago
A very well written book, it tells the story without bias. It reads like an adventure while maintaining the strictest of historical accuracy. Very hard to put down, even when you know how it will end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thls was a very interesting book packed full of facts
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written piece of Northwest history..
Northwest_Historian More than 1 year ago
Very little new material is contained in Mr. Krist's book. Most all of the factual accounts have already appeared in the two books I have already mentioned. I had the privledge of working with Ruby El Hult for several years when I was doing research for Conquest and Catastrophe. In fact I provided Gary Krist with answers to questions he had in helping him with the writing of his book. Unfortunately, he chose not to use the information. His book is a strong narrative, but a weak history.. There are errors. As an example, Mr. Krist is wrong in stating that Wellington was a much smaller town than Cascade Tunnel Station. Wellington had a population of nearly 600 people at times, not 100 as Mr. Krist states. Cascade Tunnel had only Great Northern workers living there. When they received their paychecks, they would walk through the Cascade Tunnel to Wellington to cash them at Bailets Hotel or Fogg Bros. Restaurant. They would then remain at Wellingto to drink and gamble away their money, for it was the only town close enough for them to do this. His book is a good read, but I must recommend Ruby El Hult's book, Northwest Disaster, for historical facts. Conquest and Catastrophe has a very detailed account of the Wellington disaster too. However, it also covers far more of the history of Stevens Pass and the Great Northern Railway, in addition to Wellington.