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In the Path of an Avalanche: A True Story



The Whistler Public Library is pleased to invite you to a free public reading by award-winning author Vivien Bowers on Wednesday, Jan. 21 st at 7:30 p.m. at Myrtle Philip Community Centre, Millar Room.

In the Path of an Avalanche: A True Story is a powerful chronicle of a deadly slide and its aftermath. Adventurers from all over the world come to Canada's Selkirk Mountains – a mecca for ski touring that offers unlimited mountain terrain and lots of snow. On a clear, cold morning in January 1998, six experienced backcountry skiers, including local Geoffrey (Lumpy) Leidal, set out across one of its heavily loaded slopes and were caught in a Class 3 avalanche, burying all of them in its path.

Author Vivien Bowers takes us through the tragic series of events, focusing on one of the young women who perished in the slide, and the avalanche's aftermath. Bowers tells of the arduous search-and-retrieval effort, the "big-city" media invasion, and how the victims’ family and friends, and the inhabitants of the nearby town of Nelson, attempted to bring meaning and resolution to the tragedy.

Along the way she illuminates a natural phenomenon that has threatened human endeavors throughout the world. Interwoven with the narrative is the science behind the event, including avalanche triggers and the complex process of avalanche prediction. Her book also raises unsettling questions about acceptable risk, about human fallibility, about living fully and dying young, and about what might entice a group of knowledgeable, experienced skiers to place themselves in the path of an avalanche.

Vivien Bowers is a book and magazine writer whose work has appeared

in both Canadian and American publications. She has received numerous honors including a Canadian Science Writers Association award. She lives in Nelson, B.C., where she regularly goes backcountry skiing. Her book will be available for purchase at the reading.

If you cannot attend the reading in Whistler, don’t despair! Bowers will also be reading at the Pemberton Public Library on Thursday, Jan. 22 nd at 7 p.m.

The readings are sponsored by the public libraries and the Public Library Services Branch of the B.C. Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women's Services.



Join the Whistler Public Library for Babytime sessions, for nine consecutive Saturdays, starting Jan. 31st, from 9 to 9:45 a.m. These sessions are suitable for babies birth-18 months old, and will introduce parents to rhymes, bounces, songs, and lullabies for their little ones. Pre-registration is recommended, but drop-ins are welcome. Call the Whistler Public Library at 604-932-5564 for more information.

Happy New Year!

Celebrate 2004 with stories, rhymes songs and craft greeting the New Year. This program is suitable for children 3-6 years old, and will take place at the Whistler Public Library on Jan. 17th from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Pre-registration is required. Call the Whistler Public Library at 604-932-5564.