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Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon Paperback – May 25, 2001
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Gripping accounts of all known fatal mishaps in the most famous of the World's Seven Natural Wonders.
Two veterans of decades of adventuring in Grand Canyon chronicle the first complete and comprehensive history of Canyon misadventures. These episodes span the entire era of visitation from the time of the first river exploration by John Wesley Powell and his crew of 1869 to that of tourists falling off its rims in Y2K.
These accounts of the 550 people who have met untimely deaths in the Canyon set a new high water mark for offering the most astounding array of adventures, misadventures, and life saving lessons published between any two covers. Over the Edge promises to be the most intense yet informative book on Grand Canyon ever written.
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The opening sections are absorbing, covering all those rim fall deaths over the years. My only surprise, based on what we saw in our visit, was that there weren't more in this section. The book then moves through all other varieties of death below, above, and over the rim. Some sections were more interesting than others, but for the most part, it was fascinating reading, and I found myself stopping regularly to read parts to my husband.
The authors' goal is not ghoulish. It is to alert Canyon visitors to the fact that this is a dangerous place. We live in a highly protected society. People sue councils and home owners if they trip over a slight fault in a footpath. As the authors point out, this safe and largely secure environment is not The Grand Canyon. The authors state that visitors to the Canyon tend to think that they wouldn't be allowed to do the riskier things (such as the river tours) if they could get hurt. This attitude is wrong.
This book is highly recommended for anyone who has visited the Canyon. Although we only visited the South Rim for the night, I was able to clearly "see" where many of the things in the book took place. I would also recommend it to anyone planning to visit The Grand Canyon, particularly if they want to hike below the rim. Forewarned is forearmed.