Big Walls, Swift Waters: Epic Stories from Yosemite Search and Rescue (Paperback)Charles R. Butch Farabee (author)
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Most of Yosemite's nearly 4 million annual visitors leave the park without a scratch. For a few, however, a vacation in this world-famous land of cliffs and waterfalls takes a turn for the terrifying. That's where the YOSAR team comes in.
Author and legendary YOSAR team member Butch Farabee relates epic tales of endurance and survival, misadventure and fatal consequences. Also included are:
the origins of Search and Rescue in the national parks, including the U.S. Army's key role;
advice for staying safe in the park;
profiles of SAR pros who do this dangerous work every day;
stories about YODOGS and animal rescues;
innovative techniques developed in Yosemite and now used around the world;
photos and descriptions of top-tier gear used by this world-class team of medics, climbers, and swift-water experts;
stats that any adventure geek will love;
and, of course, plenty of helicopters!
A must-read for thrill-seekers, armchair travelers, national park novices, and expert explorers alike. Get the inside story on the elite YOSAR team, and get inspired (and informed) for adventure anywhere!
Publisher: Yosemite Conservancy
Number of pages: 224
Dimensions: 248 x 191 mm
FromNational Parks Traveler, "Essential Park Guide," August 15, 2017: When the Yosemite Search and Rescue (YOSAR) men and women head out, they might be plucking a hiker from icy waters, evacuating a climber from a sheer cliff, or recovering the body of someone who wasn't even that lucky. While the technical rescues are pored over on social media, many of their rescues are more mundane: a broken arm after a slipper mistake on the Mist Trail, an elderly gent who is short-of-breath on the Glacier Point Trail, or a lost child in the mayhem of Yosemite Valley. This group trains, trains, and trains some more so it's ready for anything when the call comes, and Butch Farabee has described the hazards, rescues, and history of YOSAR in this new book from the Yosemite Conservancy. He describes dozens of rescue with helicopters, ropes, boats, scuba gear, and even pack animals. There are stories of climbing rescues, fast water rescues, disappearances, and even of animals that need to be saved. Farabee, a retired ranger, also describes the early search-and-rescue days in the 1970s, and how events led to this full-time, professional rescue team. . . . Farabee writes of the successful rescues, and others with worse outcomes. For instance, in 1966 a nuclear scientist, Quin Frizzell, disappeared on a hike from Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley. The search involved more than 100 personnel in rugged terrain, complicated by the fact that Frizzle had a top-secret security clearance. Five years later his skeleton was discovered by the author, with bones still inside boots, and to the wishes of his wife, he was buried in place.
From Outside Online, September 2017:
Yosemite National Park is home to some of the nation's most beautiful natural features that can turn deadly with just one wrong step. In Big Walls, Swift Waters, search and rescue veteran Charles R. "Butch" Farabee goes deep on all the ways visitors get into trouble in the park--and the heroic efforts of the SAR teams who try to help them.
Big Walls, Swift Waters is a little bit of everything. It's a history, a compilation of case studies, and an instructional guide about rescue equipment and techniques. Well illustrated with photographs from past rescues, author Charles "Butch" Farabee documents many of the classic search and rescues that have occurred in Yosemite National Park. It's a fascinating, insider's view of rescue, and you'll find yourself rappelling out of helicopters, hanging on granite walls, and plunging into icy waters.--National Outdoor Book Awards
WINNER, 2017 National Outdoor Book Awards--Instructional Category
From Climbing, August 2017:
Farabee, a onetime National Park Service employee who participated in 800 Yosemite SAR missions, employs his considerable Valley knowledge to produce this textually and graphically rich account of SAR lore. Over 220 pages, Farabee, the co-author of 2007's classic Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite, explores the history of wall and water rescues in the Valley, with invaluable takeaways for readers who want to avoid tragedy themselves.
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