Pickets and Dead Men. Seasons on Rainier.


Pickets and Dead Men. Seasons on Rainier.
Page Type Gear Review
Object Title Pickets and Dead Men. Seasons on Rainier.
Manufacturer Bree Loewen
Page By silversummit
Page Type Aug 25, 2010 / Aug 25, 2010
Object ID 7297
Hits 3775

Book Summary

Editorial Review

"A funny and sometimes cringe-inducing story of a young woman's experience as a climbing ranger where respect is hard won and on-the-job performance can be the difference between life and death. Being a climbing ranger on Mount Rainier proved to be a life-altering experience for Bree Loewen. As one of only a handful of women on staff, Bree fought to prove herself among men in the field, while confronting the often unrealistic expectations of the public on a mountain that shows little mercy.

With honesty, self-deprecation, and wry humor, she reflects on her experiences on Rainier: assisting injured climbers, rescuing lost children, battling inscrutable bureaucracy, lugging heavy equipment, and trying to make sense of it all. Whether it's her account of a solo climb in dicey conditions or trying to protect her good jacket while cleaning the outhouses at Camp Muir, Loewen's writing is engagingly human and humane."

Product Details

Price: $16.95

Paperback: 190 pages

Author: Bree Loewen

Publisher: Mountaineers Books

Year Published: 2009

Language: English

ISBN: 978-1-59485-101-8



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silversummit - Aug 25, 2010 9:45 pm - Voted 3/5

Not so funny!
Bree begins this book by describing how she herself had to be rescued on Rainier during the time period her ranger application was being reviewed. And while re-telling different rescue tales, assigned hikes up to Muir etc., duty stints in the Guide Hut and searches for lost and hurt hikers she fills us in on how she got to be at Rainier each season. And between her three seasons working on the south side of Rainier she lived in her car.

I found Loewen's accounts of daily life and close-call rescues in the park very interesting; even the sad tales of bringing dead climbers and hikers down the mountain were well done.

But I really hated reading in every third sentence how wet or tired or hungry she was. Her feet were blistered horribly and she never had enough dry socks etc. How unhappy can one person be and keep coming back to work at Rainier?

Very rarely did she ever mention enjoying the beauty of the trails or flowers or any part of the park etc. Yes, she probably encountered discrimination as a result of being one of the first female rangers at Rainier but even Bree admits that she can't hike fast enough to keep up with her fellow rangers or contribute in the expected ways. Perhaps this book should have been subtitled "Wallow in My Misery and Self-Discovery".

I did enjoy all the references to many places in the park that I had visited in 2009: Paradise, Longmire, Panorama Point, Glacier Vista etc. Anyone who has spent time in this wonderful place will like the cover photo as well as 'walking the trails' with Bree. And I am glad that she has found happiness outside Rainier National Park as indicated in the "About the Author" Section at the end of the book.

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