Encounters in Avalanche Country : A History of Survival in the Mountain West, 1820-1920
Encounters in Avalanche Country tells the story of mountain communities' responses to disaster over a century of social change and rapid industrialization. As mining and railway companies triggered new kinds of disasters, ideas about environmental risk and responsibility were increasingly negotiated by mountain laborers, at elite levels among corporations, and in socially charged civil suits. Disasters became a dangerous crossroads where social spaces and ecological realities collided, illustrating how individuals, groups, communities, and corporate entities were tangled in this web of connections between people and their environment.
Written in a lively and engaging narrative style, Encounters in Avalanche Country uncovers authentic stories of survival struggles, frightening avalanches, and how local knowledge challenged legal traditions that defined avalanches as Acts of God. Combining disaster, mining, railroad, and ski histories with the theme of severe winter weather, it provides a new and fascinating perspective on the settlement of the Mountain West.