Buried by Ken Wylie ISBN 9781771600279 5.5 x 8.5 Inches (US 288 pages paperback $25.00 (CAD)
On January 20, 2003, at 10:45 a.m., a massive avalanche released from Tumbledown Mountain in the Selkirk Range of British Columbia. Tonnes of snow carried 13 members of two guided backcountry skiing groups down the 37-degree incline of a run called La Traviata and buried them. After a frantic hour of digging by remaining group members, an unthinkable outcome became reality. Seven people were dead.
The tragedy made international news, splashing photos of the seven dead Canadian and US skiers on television screens and the pages of newspapers. The official analysis did not specifically note guide error as a contributing factor in the accident. This interpretation has been insufficient for some of the victims' families, the public and some members of the guiding community.
Why did the guiding team seemingly ignore a particularly troublesome snowpack? Why were two groups travelling so close together? Were the guides adhering to best practices for terrain selection and snow stability evaluation? What motivated them to go there?
Buried is the assistant guide's story. It renders an answerable truth about what happened by delving deep into the human factors that played into putting people in harm’s way. The story begins buried metres deep in snow, and through care-filled reflection emerges slowly like spring after a long winter, nurturing a hopeful, courageous dialogue for all who make journeys through the mountains of their life. The story illustrates the peace that comes from accountability and the growth that results from understanding.
Buried by Ken Wylie 9781771600286 BISAC: SPO029000 BISAC: SPO052000 BISAC: SEL031000 ebook $12.99
"Buried was not an easy book to read. By the end of the first half I found myself emotionally incredibly raw, I didn't want to keep reading but I also couldn't put the book down. I was watching a car wreck, but it felt like my car wreck. The second half of the book you get a bit more distance from Ken, which to be honest, is a relief. But you also get hope, inspiration to look at your own past mistakes in the same unflinching manner and learn those lessons you didn't learn at the time. If Ken can do it, after being through so much, fuck, maybe so can I." - Phil Tomlinson, Canadian SpindriftClick here for more
As with most avalanche stories reported in traditional media, not all of the facts are correct. The Durrand Glacier avalanche story is no different except for the autocratic behaviour and arrogance of Rudi Beglinger, it is very accurate. The suggestion that his clients are experienced backcountry skiers is a stretch. Rudi’s cleints are keen skiers who are looking for leadership and adventure in the backcountry, they are not decision makers or leaders, rather followers who entrust their guide. Some have never backcountry skied prior to Durrand, others like Craig Kelley were experienced. For Ken Wylie, a mountain guide, he too was a follower–waiting for the next command from his boss, Rudi the dictator. Ken’s newly released book Buried will help those interested understand what really happened and reopen the question of why Rudi never accepted responsibility for his mistake. - Powder CanadaClick here for more
UNDERSTANDING AN AVALANCHE: AN INTERVIEW WITH KEN WYLIE - As an avid backcountry skier and mountain enthusiast, I was excited for the opportunity to interview Ken. I was surprised, in both reading the book and speaking with Ken, how many parallels there were with his experience in the mountains and my coming home from war and the role mountains have played in my welcoming home. - Stacy Bare, Huffington Post SportsClick here for more
FIRST MOUNTAIN STORY INTERVIEW WITH KEN WYLIE: We are so excited to have completed the very first Mountain Story interview, set to launch at the end of October. The Mountain Story crew spent the day filming and talking to mountain guide Ken Wylie about the deadly 2003 avalanche in which he was buried and pulled out alive after 30 minutes. He shared some remarkable experiences and insights gained since the tragedy. We also got a sneak preview of his newly released book Buried in which he delves into the human factors that played into the tragedy and how he reconciled his role as the assistant guide on the tour. - Mountain StoryClick here for more
HOW TO SURVIVE AN AVALANCHE: Every skier who ventures into the backcountry has to confront the possibility that an accident could kill them. Avalanches are commonplace where dozens of feet of snow fall onto icy and steep mountains – the kinds that make perfect ski destinations. Backcountry ski guide based in Revelstoke, British Columbia, Ken Wylie survived an avalanche in 2003, in which seven other people died. It was a bad season for snow slides in Revelstoke that year and Wylie was called upon to rescue another group just ten days later. He talks snow safety, backcountry protocol and remembers that tragic season in his new book, Buried. - National Geographic RadioClick here for more
Buried is an engaging and thought provoking look at an accident that shook the backcountry ski industry and a reflective story of Wylie’s internal struggle to regain self-identity. If anything positive can come from the story of the tragic day in January of 2003, it is to help other skiers see what could have been done differently, and that’s exactly what Wylie hopes Buried can do. - Off-Piste MagazineClick here for more
THE DAY THE MOUNTAIN FELL: In a controversial new book, Buried, Ken Wylie speaks out for the first time about what happened on the mountain — and why he didn’t stop skiers from going into territory he knew was risky. - National Post article by Joe O'ConnorClick here for more
SURVIVORS RECALL HORROR ON A SNOWY MOUNTAIN: Ken Wylie, an experienced guide, was buried 4 to 5 feet down, one of his skis pointing straight up. A group of skiers quickly gathered to dig him out, expecting to find another corpse.
As they got closer, they heard a groan.
Wylie, one of the last to be dug out, was the only buried skier who lived. He [said] later that he had tried to create an air pocket, then closed his eyes and relaxed as best he could. "He pretty much shut his body down," [Keith] Lindsay said. "I would say that's 99% of the reason he survived. You're not panicky, you're not struggling. He basically made himself pass out." - Los Angeles Times article by Sue Fox and Carla HallClick here for more