Mountain Misadventures

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We climbers often joke about “barely surviving” our greenhorn years, rife with silly n00b mistakes. But, as Mark Scott-Nash points out in his Colorado 14er Disasters: Victims of the Game ($16.95, bigearthpublishing.com), statistics show that the number of experienced victims rivals the novices. Turns out, plenty of other ingredients go into the disaster soup: overconfi dence, summit fever, fatigue, groupthink, hypothermia. In his riveting book, Scott- Nash chronicles several Colorado alpine calamities — e.g., climbers stranded on the Diamond, a critically injured glissader, a woman missing on Holy Cross — and the often-poor decision-making that contributed. Neither sensationalistic nor coldly analytical, the stories unfold with humanity, suspense, and valuable insight.

—Kristin Bjornsen