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A Bolt from the Blue: The Epic True Story of Danger, Daring, and Heroism at 13,000 Feetby Jennifer Woodlief
Synopses & Reviews
From the author of A Wall of White, the thrilling account of a spectacular mountain rescue after six climbers are struck by lightning.
On the afternoon of July 26, 2003, six climbers reached the peak of the Upper Exum Ridge of the Grand Teton near a 13,000-foot elevation. When rain blew in, the climbers began to retreat from their location by scaling Friction Pitch, a 120-foot section of smooth granite near the top of the peak. The first rope team had already climbed the pitch and begun to rappel down when the storm released a colossal lightning strike that traveled down the rope and pounded through the body of every climber, killing one person instantly.
As the storm continued and with darkness descending, one of the most experienced search-and-rescue climbing teams in the country pulled off one of the most incredible mountain rescues ever, earning eight Department of Interior Valor Awards which are given only to employees who save lives by risking their own.
Set in the sweeping, historical, and iconic Grand Teton National Park and the Teton Range, A Bold from the Blue tells the story of eight mountaineers out for a climb, the terrifying arrival of the storm, the devastating lightning strike, and their dramatic rescue by a group of rangers.
"Armchair travelers and bona fide adventurers alike will love Woodlief's thrilling newest (after A Wall of White). In 2003, six climbers ascended the Upper Exum Ridge of the Grand Teton in Wyoming as a storm approached. During their descent, an enormous bolt of lightning ('weather's version of an absolute sucker punch') struck their rappelling rope, exploding through the bodies of each of the climbers. One died immediately, some were flung from the cliff, and others suffered severe burns and paralysis. The local rescue team — the revered Jenny Lake Rangers — were called in to extricate the many victims, all before nightfall and in the midst of a relentless storm. Woodlief, a former district attorney and reporter for Sports Illustrated, explains technical details and deftly narrates the experiences of the injured climbers and risk-taking rangers, and her sense of scene and timing is impeccable. She describes climbing as 'a drug of self-expression, of calmness, of centering... breaking down the mountain of a problem into many tiny dilemmas.' Woodlief brings readers into the heart of these myriad difficulties — of helicopters amid craggy mountain passes, 'shadows deepening' as the day draws to a close, a dangling climber bent backwards head to heels. Fans of Jon Krakaeur's Into Thin Air will find in Woodlief an engaging and exciting guide. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
andlt;Bandgt;FIVE INJURED CLIMBERS. TEN SEASONED RANGERS. ONE IMPOSSIBLE RESCUE.andlt;/Bandgt; andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;On the afternoon of July 26, 2003, six vacationing mountain climbers ascended the peak of the Grand Teton in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Rain and colliding air currents blew in, and soon a massive electrical charge began to build. As the group began to retreat from its location, a colossal lightning bolt struck and pounded through the body of every climber. One of the six died instantly, one lay critically injured next to her body, and four dangled perilously into the chasm below. In riveting, page-turning prose, veteran journalist Jennifer Woodlief tells the story of the climb, the arrival of the storm, and the unprecedented rescue by the Jenny Lake Rangers, one of the most experienced climbing search-and-rescue teams in the country. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Against the dramatic landscape of the Teton Range, Woodlief brings to life the grueling task of the rangers, a band of colorful characters who tackle one of the riskiest, most physically demanding jobs in the world. By turns terrifying and exhilarating, andlt;Iandgt;A Bolt from the Blue andlt;/Iandgt;is both a testament to human courage and an astonishing journey into one of historyand#8217;s most dangerous mountain rescues.
About the Author
andlt;Bandgt;Jennifer Woodliefandlt;/Bandgt;andnbsp;is aandnbsp;former reporter for andlt;iandgt;Sports Illustrated.andlt;/iandgt; Her first book andlt;iandgt;Ski to Die: The Bill Johnson Storyandlt;/iandgt; (2005) was optioned by Warner Brothers with Matthew McConaughey to play Bill. A graduate of Stanford University and UCLA School of Law, her past jobs included prosecuting first-degree murder cases as a district attorney and working as a case officer with top secret clearance for the CIA.
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