A Life in Mountain Rescue

By author: Bree Loewen
202 Pages, 978-1-68051-075-1
Mountaineers Books 03/27/2017
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"Found is a deeply drawn memoir about volunteer mountain search and rescue. There are epics and gory injuries, yes, yet this story burns brightest when describing the motley volunteer community: individuals united by their will to abandon cozy beds at 2 a.m., risking real jobs and angry families, not to mention their lives." - Adventure Journal

• Crazy hours, harsh environments, horrific accidents, no pay—highlights the astounding work of SAR volunteers
• Stories of both quiet heroics that will make you wince, reflect, and applaud -- depending on their outcome
• Raw rescue descriptions, laced with dark humor, through the eyes of accident first responders

Bree Loewen’s first book, Pickets and Dead Men, was her account of the three seasons she spent as a climbing ranger on Mount Rainier, in Washington, beginning at the tender age of 21. Through her utterly honest and often gripping stories, she revealed her struggle to gain the respect of her male coworkers, her constant internal self-doubt, and a continual pondering of that never-ending question: Why am I here?

Now in her mid-thirties, Loewen has become a wife, a mother, and a leader of Seattle Mountain Rescue (SMR), a volunteer-based search-and-rescue operation. She no longer struggles with the respect of co-workers (she has it in spades) nor crippling self-doubt (overcome after hundreds of rescues). But she does still ponder the question of why she continues to head into the backcountry, confronting danger, risk, and, often, death. SMR is involved in everything from high profile accidents to rescues that never even make the local news. And since the climbing and outdoor community in Seattle is so close knit, Loewen often finds herself involved in efforts to rescue friends and acquaintances.

A distinct and fearless voice—quiet and thoughtful, yet laced with dark humor; utterly honest and disarming; clear and graceful—Loewen conveys the intensity of rescue and recovery situations as well as the beauty of wilderness landscapes in accessible, real, and convincing language. Found reveals a woman’s effort to help, nurture, and protect her daughter, her community, and her life.

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