AVALANCHE! by Joseph Wechsberg


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The story of the two avalanches which killed over 100 of the 380 inhabitants in the village of Blons, in the high Alps of western Austria on January 11, 1954, is given full reportage, from the stories of survivors, from accumulated data on avalanches, and from the records of the (then) newly formed Avalanche Warning System. The disaster itself is introduced by the history of avalanches, their origins, types, behavior, their power of destruction, and the recently coordinated research being done on them, and the account continues with the doings of the various families of Blons before and during the descent of the Falv avalanche and then, later the same day, the one from Montcalv, and in the terrible aftermaths of each. The individual stories, the effects on the community, the complete isolation, the rescue efforts and the projects for rehabilitation offer a comprehensive picture of one of the least known natural catastrophes and of Blons tragedy in particular, ""no other recorded avalanche in modern history has done so much to so many in so short a time and so small a place"". A special interest audience for this will include those interested in mountains and mountain climbing.

Pub Date: Aug. 18th, 1958
Publisher: Knopf