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The 1982 avalanche at Alpine Meadows ski resort near Lake Tahoe, California was a once-in-a-lifetime catastrophe—an unforeseeable confluence of natural events that created the conditions for an unimaginable disaster—and, in one woman’s case, an astonishing ordeal of survival.
In this freak event, millions of tons of snow flowed into the ski area and parking lot beyond, engulfing unsuspecting vacationers out for a walk as well as resort employees working in spite of the danger, killing seven and leaving one victim buried alive under the snow. At the center of this wrenching tale of human versus nature is ski patrolman Larry Heywood and his team, who heroically searched for a twenty-two-year-old woman trapped for five days underneath the suffocating snow—a tale of survival that is itself an exploration of the capacity of courage.
A Wall of White is the quintessential American story—a testament to the unwavering dedication of a band of rebel rescuers, driven only by a commitment to saving lives, battling not just extreme conditions but seemingly impossible odds.