Book looks at search and rescue heroes

BAR HARBOR — Sandy Stott will talk about and sign copies of his book “Critical Hours: Search and Rescue in the White Mountains” at the Jesup Memorial Library on Thursday, June 28, at 7 p.m.


Stott’s book shines a light on the search and rescue workers (SAR) who save countless lives in the mountains after a misread map, a sudden storm or a forgotten headlamp turns a leisurely hike into a treacherous endeavor.

“In the past decade, inexpensive but sophisticated navigation devices and mobile phones have led to alarming levels of overconfidence on the trail,” said a press release. “Adding to this trend, the increasing popularity of ventures into mountainous terrain has led hikers seeking solitude or an adrenaline rush into increasingly remote or risky forays.”

Stott who is the “Accidents” editor at “Appalachia,” the journal of the Appalachian Mountain Club, delivers both a history and a celebration of these search and rescue workers in the White Mountains. Alongside these tales of courage and tragedy is a plea to not take these people and their bravery for granted.

“Outside” magazine named “Critical Hours” one of its best new books for spring 2018, writing that “Stott focuses on the heroism of SAR workers and what these incidents can teach us about staying safe in the mountains.”

Laura Waterman, author of “Forest and Crag: A History of Hiking, Trail Blazing, and Adventure in the Northeast Mountains,” wrote, “You need this book whether you’re a White Mountains veteran or someone slinging on a pack for the first time. Stott’s wise and urbane writing on the search and rescue culture has us compulsively reading these narratives of (mostly) loss, and of those who rescue us from our own misjudgments.”

Stott is a former editor “Appalachia,” a longtime English teacher and a lifelong wanderer in the White Mountains.

Books will be on sale that night courtesy of co-sponsor Sherman’s Books. The talk is co-sponsored by Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. Contact the Jesup at 288-4245 or [email protected].


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