Jill Fredston stalks avalanches. She predicts where and when they will strike, deliberately triggers them with explosives, teaches potential victims how to stay alive, and leads rescue efforts when tragedy ensues. Reaching deep into this trove of personal experience, Fredston captures the overwhelming force of avalanches from a panorama of perspectives: a skier making what may prove his final decision, a victim buried so tightly that he can’t move a finger, rescuers racing time and weather, forecasters treading the line between reasonable risk and danger. Sweeping us into these stories, she also captures the mercurial fascination of snow itself, which first drew her to Alaska and then led her to the man who would become her lifelong partner in love and work.
Having spent decades trying to keep avalanches and people apart, Fredston has brought them together hauntingly in Snowtruck.