Death & Survival in Glacier National Park
True Tales of Tragedy, Courage, and Misadventure

by C. W. Guthrie
and Ann & Dan Fagre

published by Farcountry Press

  • Sheer cliffs, avalanches, turbulent rivers, cold lakes, severe weather, grizzly bears - these are just a few of the ways you can die while visiting Glacier National Park. Since 1910 when the park was established, 296 people have perished within Glacier's boundaries, and many more somehow survived close calls with death. Death & Survival in Glacier National Park recounts their true tales, as well as stories of the brave and often heroic search-and-rescue professionals who put their lives on the line so that others might live.

    • Written by local Glacier National Park experts.
    • Jam-packed with gripping stories of courage and survival against all odds.
    • Featuring the most complete chronology of all 296 deaths in Glacier National Park, including names, ages, locations, and causes.

    Includes maps, charts & graphs.

314 pages, 6" x 9", 86 b/w photos, 2 map(s), index, 32 softcovers per case

ISBN 10: 1560376589
ISBN 13: 9781560376583


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Death & Survival in Glacier National Park
True Tales of Tragedy, Courage, and Misadventure

Smitty later wrote, "My parents had drummed into my head never to run from a grizzly. So there I stood as my four companions ran for the trees. I quickly glanced down the trail at the gigantic grizzly bear churning straight toward me. The sound of the rasping, deep, guttural grunt that accompanied each stride sent waves of panic through my body. Then, when perhaps half the original distance was consumed, I, too fled. I ran like the wind, dodging bushes and leaping over downed trees."

Alan Nelson had not yet made it up a tree, and he and Smitty headed for a grove of evergreens on the far side of the trail. As they neared the trees, the grizzly pounced on Smitty, knocking him to the ground. Then the bear picked up the boy, tossed him about, chewed and clawed flesh from the back of his head, and raked his face with her massive claws.

Nelson, now standing behind a tree, shouted at the bear to distract her. The furious bear spun around and charged him. As Nelson struggled to climb the tree, dead branches broke off in his hands, dropping him down toward the bear. The enraged bear reared up, grabbed Nelson by his buttocks, and pulled him down. He screamed as he slammed into the forest floor, face first. The bear hovered over him, using her claws and snout trying to turn him over. Nelson knew his best chance to survive was to remain face down and play dead. He spread his arms and legs to gain leverage and grasped vegetation. The bear bit the back of his thighs again and again. Then suddenly she stopped biting him and turned toward sounds coming from the opposite side of the trail. Brita Noring stood at the base of the pine tree that Gote Nyhlen had climbed for refuge. The bear charged in Noring's direction, reared up on its hind legs, and stood face-to-face with her. Noring froze and wisely remained motionless for a long while. Finally, the bear dropped to all fours and started to move away.

Nyhlen, still clinging to a branch in the pine, reached down to Brita. She grasped his hand and struggled up the tree. Seconds before she could reach a safe distance, the bear lunged toward her, crushed her ankle in its mouth, and dragged her from the tree. The bear tore at her side again and again, laying her flesh bare, then she grabbed Brita's leg and dragged her into the underbrush....

-from Chapter Thirteen: Lions and Wolves and Bears, Oh My

C. W. Guthrie align= C. W. (Carol) Guthrie's love affair with Glacier began when she and her dad drove the Going-to-the-Sun Road when she was nine years old. For the past twenty-five years, following a career working for the Air Force, she has explored the park and its history and authored five books about the park, including Farcountry Press titles All Aboard! for Glacier: The Great Northern Railway and Glacier National Park, and Glacier National Park: The First 100 Years.
Ann & Dan Fagre align= Dan and Ann Fagre have been backpacking, climbing, skiing, and exploring mountains and national parks since the early 1970s. Over these decades, they've been wilderness rangers, fire lookouts, firefighters, and outdoor trip leaders in various western landscapes. For the past twenty-six years, they've made their home in West Glacier, Montana, and Glacier National Park, where they’ve worked, played, and raised their daughters who are following in their footsteps.

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