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Death, Daring, & Disaster - Search and Rescue in the National Parks (Revised Edition) Paperback – April 7, 2005


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Death, Daring, & Disaster -  Search and Rescue in the National Parks (Revised Edition) + Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite + Death in Yellowstone: Accidents and Foolhardiness in the First National Park
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing; Revised Edition edition (April 7, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589791827
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589791824
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 1.4 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Butch Farabee recently retired as assistant superintendent of Glacier National Park. The author of National Park Ranger, he lives in Tucson, Arizona

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By El Cutachero on December 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
As the NPS's Chief National Emergency Services Coordinator the author spent many years in the search and rescue business. In the course of his career he had access to the original records and was able to select most dramatic and cautionary stories. Each covers at most a few pages but the reader will want to keep reading. Very hard to put down and a substantial amount of research and good writing.
Most emphasis is on the post 1940 period since WW II when the development of modern aerial search and rescue techniques, as pioneered in the armed services, influenced the postwar organization and methods. The Air Force became responsible for inland activities and the Coast Guard for the sea margins. Ground based searches remained the primary responsiblity of the big land management agencies such as the Park Service, Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By K. Whitt on February 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you are interested in the subject matter, it would be hard not to enjoy this book. I was amazed at the number of bodies that had to be left in the parks because they couldn't be retreived for one reason or another. I was also surprised to learn how many planes had crashed onto the lands or into the mountains of national parks. There are also the things you would expect, such as falls from mountain climbing and people who get lost while hiking. It was sad to read about the rangers who risked their lives and became heroes to save others, only to read about some of them succumbing to the dangers of the park themselves later on in the book. Many of the stories made me wish there was additional information, because I wanted to know more about what happened to these people. Overall a very engrossing book.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
Written by a man who participated in nearly 1,000 search and rescue missions and served as the National Park Service's first National Emergency Services Coordinator, this book covers the history of search and rescue in the National Parks. From the 1870s to 1997 we see what rescuers face in attempting to save lives. Farabee lets us get a glimpse of rescues before the advent and use of helicopters when volunteers hiked through snowstorms to reach victims and often only to reclaim a body from the ravages of mother nature. This book is not only for those interested in search and rescue but may also be of interest to outdoor enthusiasts. From the professional mountain climber to the afternoon stroller, this book may help you stay off the list of victims by exposing you to the errors of others. Farabee covers aircraft accidents, river drownings, and hikers claimed by exposure throughout the book. Many of the incidents in the book are very touching, including the death of a father who froze to death while saving the lives of his two children in a snow shelter and the death of a rescuer who accidentally rappels of the end of his rope while attempting to reach rock climbers in trouble. Not only are the rescues interesting but the book also takes the reader on a short tour of our National Parks from Yosemite to the Great Smoky Mountains. I enjoyed every page.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Chris Zee Shutterbug VINE VOICE on January 9, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A somewhat dry accounting, using newspaper clippings whenever available, of mishaps that casual (and quite often very experienced)hikers encounter in what commonly is believed to be safe National Parks. A very quick education in being prepared for the underestimated dangers of dehydration, hypothermia, and heat stress. It is not quite as good as "Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon"or "Death in Yellowstone: Accidents and Foolhardiness in the First National Park", both of which manage to get the message of being careful across in a much more narrative style. If you enjoy "Weather stories" on TV, these will all make for fascinating reading.

PS In the Oregon reference I am talking about the death of CNET editor James Kim, who left the relative safety of his car trying to get help for his family, and the three climbers on Mt Hood that perished shortly after. You will learn of countless expeditions that people insisted on undertaking because they were already there, even though the weather has changed drastically.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
An excellent collection of decades of searches and rescues in National Parks all over the USA. Each search and rescue story runs from a paragraph to a page or two. Helpful photos are included for many of the stories, plus the book has great chronologies for each decade and a very good index. The author highlights National Parks' efforts - often ignoring, misconstruing, or discounting the efforts of other agencies involved in many of the search and rescues - a bias which occasionally mars this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Mahoney on November 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is OK.It is a compilation of old newspaper accounts of tragedies in national parks. Unlike the "Grand Canyon" and "Yosemite" books this does not go into any type of detail about the accidents. It also does not categorize the events, rather it does them in a chronological order.
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Format: Paperback
This is a very comprehensive and thorough book that reads more like a detailed collection of reports and commentary on almost every search and rescue operation in the National Parks (and some outside of them) over the last century.

Where the book may fall short to many is that it's very straight-forward, almost dry reading. Very little effort is put into dramatizing the stories or analyzing character, motivation or emotions of those involved. So if you're looking for a dramatic book on survival stories, this isn't it.

I can however easily see someone buying this and having it on a shelf for reference, and if you're the kind of person who really wants all the details at your fingertips, this book is for you.
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