Special Collections Selection: The White Cascade

Special Collections Selection: The White Cascade

July, 2011
Krist, Gary
Publication Information: 
New York : Henry Holt and Company, 2007
Special Collections -- Northwest Collection
Call Number: 
QC929.A8 K75 2007

The White CascadeThe White Cascade: The Great Northern Railway Disaster and America’s Deadliest Avalanche by Gary Krist.

This riveting book provides a wide-ranging historical perspective of the most tragic avalanche in our country’s history, and it took place in Western Washington’s Steven Pass during the late winter of 1910. 

Two passenger trains heading west from Spokane arrived in the mountains during blizzard conditions, forcing them to first be delayed and then be totally stranded in the little town of Wellington. 

As the railway sent snow-fighting crews off to clear the path, weather conditions worsened.  There was more snow, and then a warming trend brought thunderstorms and sheets of rain, provoking an avalanche directly over the trains. 

You will have a hard time putting down this suspenseful book as you await finding out whether or not the rescue will be successful, who will live and who won’t make it, and what it felt like to travel through the Cascades prior to highways that we now traverse. 

Was this catastrophe the result of human decisions or inevitably the result of natural occurrences?  This book will make you think about those things. 

Rick Osen
Assistant Dean for Administration & Planning/
Acting Assistant Dean for Collections & Technology Services