Title: Pickets and Dead Men: Seasons on Rainier // Author: Bree Loewen // Publisher: The Mountaineers Books // Pub. Date: March 2009 // 192 p.
I love books, okay? Everybody knows this. So people are always telling me about books that they like, books I should read, books I should review, books I should love or hate, etc. My sister recently visited me here in Chamonix, and she showed up with a book that I absolutely had to read. I was skeptical of her declaration, but once I started reading the first chapter of Bree Loewen’s Pickets and Dead Men: Seasons on Rainier, I was hooked. So hooked, in fact, that I even took it with me in the mountains while we were out backpacking/camping, and I finished it in two days. This was on a trip where I refused to carry a tent (and got flooded in my bivy sac and then squeezed into someone else’s mountain tent). In the end, I’d say that taking this book was so worth the extra weight.
In Pickets and Dead Men, Loewen writes about her experiences as a climbing ranger on Mount Rainier. She’s candid about what it’s like to be a female in this mostly-male world, what it’s like to pull dead bodies out of crevasses (with your boss looking over your shoulder), what it’s like to subsist on very little sleep and a lot of macaroni and cheese. Loewen’s writing is colorful, funny, and true. I’d recommend reading Pickets and Dead Men while you’re out on a good adventure of your own…this book is so palpably real that it will double your fun.
Photo credit: The Mountaineers Books