© Will Hobbs.
Two teenage boys, one from Texas, one a native of Canada’s Northwest Territories, along with a much older native, Johnny Raven and the pilot, are flying in a small plane over the barren high peaks of the Canadian Rockies when the pilot offers to take them down for a close look at a famous high waterfall. The floatplane lands in the river above the falls, but then the engine dies, and before the pilot can start it again, the plane is swept into the current and over the falls, destroying the plane and killing the pilot! The boys and the old man have escaped to shore with some emergency equipment, but with winter fast approaching, face a very difficult survival adventure. The old man has skills that help them, and he even kills a moose to provide food, but the boys, faced with the prospect of trying to winter in such a hostile environment, elect to try to raft down the river to a native village. This works for a while, but increasing ice in the river soon puts an end to the raft, and the three are stuck in a deep, isolated valley with a cabin but almost no game for food.
This exciting story never lets up for a minute, as the boys, Gabe and Raymond, struggle to survive, to find food, to escape, and to evade dangers like frostbite, injury, exhaustion and a hungry grizzly bear who almost does them in. The old man, Johnny Raven, gives them help and guidance for a while, then they’re on their own in this fine armchair adventure. If, like me, you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to try to survive in the frozen north, you’ll enjoy it. Recommended.