Desperate Steps

Life, Death, and Choices Made in the Mountains of the Northeast

Book Description

In the backcountry, a single piece of gear could mean the difference between a comfortable night under the stars and a harrowing tale to tell once you're home. Or it could mean that you don't make it home at all.

In this all-new collection from the publisher of
Not Without Peril and No Limits But the Sky, author Peter W. Kick recounts twenty true tales of backcountry misadventure and misfortune, including incidents along the famed Appalachian Trail, and seeks the lessons learned in each. From close-calls to unsolved mysteries, these stories illuminate the realities faced by outdoorspeople across the Northeast. Weather is unpredictable. The best laid plans go awry. And in the worst of times, even the best decision may not be enough to turn the tides.

In the tradition of
Appalachia journal's renowned "Accidents" section, Kick reports on the facts as they were known on the ground—with the help of first-hand accounts of victims, families, witnesses, and Search-and-Rescue professionals. As each story unfolds, Kick and his sources in the SAR community offer a retrospective analysis to help readers discover for themselves what went wrong and how disasters, big and small, might be averted in the future. Route maps and photos further bring each misadventure to life. Readers who immerse themselves in these near misses, methodical searches, and the gut-wrenching clarity of hindsight will be better prepared for whatever the wilderness brings.

About Kick, Peter W.

Peter W. Kick is a native of the Catskill Mountains, is a New York State licensed guide, and author of several hiking and cycling guides. His previous books with AMC include AMC Catskill Mountain Guide, AMC's Best Day Hikes in the Catskills & Hudson Valley, and Discover the Adirondacks. Kick's work has also appeared in Backpacker, Sailing, Cruising World, and Adirondack Life. He is a life member of AMC and an AMC trip leader. He lives in Saugerties, New York.

Previous books: AMC Catskill Mountain Guide, 3e (978-1-934028-94-0); AMC's Best Day Hikes in the Catskills & Hudson Valley, 2e (978-1-934028-45-2); Discover the Adirondacks (978-1-934028-31-5); 25 Mountain Bike Tours in New Jersey (978-0-881503-86-9); Backroad Bicycling in the Hudson Valley and Catskills (978-0-881505-78-8)