• Critical Hours

  • Search and Rescue in the White Mountains
  • By: Sandy Stott
  • Narrated by: Kyle Tait
  • Length: 11 hrs and 42 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (77 ratings)

Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks, and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Audible Plus auto-renews for $7.95/mo after 30 days. Upgrade or cancel anytime.
Critical Hours  By  cover art

Critical Hours

By: Sandy Stott
Narrated by: Kyle Tait
Try for $0.00

$7.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $21.49

Buy for $21.49

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's summary

A misread map, a sudden storm, a forgotten headlamp - and suddenly a leisurely hike turns into a treacherous endeavor.

In the past decade, inexpensive but sophisticated navigation devices and mobile phones have led to alarming levels of overconfidence on the trail. Adding to this worrisome trend, the increasing popularity of ventures into mountainous terrain has led hikers seeking solitude - or an adrenaline rush - into increasingly remote or risky forays. 

Sandy Stott, the "Accidents" editor at the journal of the Appalachian Mountain Club, delivers both a history and a celebration of the search and rescue workers who save countless lives in the White Mountains - along with a plea for us not to take their steadfastness and bravery for granted. Filled with tales of astonishing courage and sobering tragedy, Critical Hours will appeal to outdoor enthusiasts and armchair adventurers alike.

©2018 University Press of New England (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about Critical Hours

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    43
  • 4 Stars
    18
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    4
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    37
  • 4 Stars
    17
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    9
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    43
  • 4 Stars
    18
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    4

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

History of Search and Rescue Operations on White Mt.

If you love acronyms- this is the book for you!
I found this to be a history of organizations that oversee search and rescue operations for the White Mts. The author is a native of the area and has a personal history with the mountains yet I felt like this was a very long travel piece written for a regional magazine. I felt it wasn’t written for a national audience not familiar with the area. I also felt that there was a lot of negativity towards people who called for help. The author repeats many times that people who come to the mountains should be skilled athletes not “goofs” (his word). It made me feel the White Mts. were a private area for very skilled athletes and everyone else should just admire from their car windows. Living in the Rocky Mts, we want everyone to enjoy the mountains at every level of skill and have many open spaces for everyone to enjoy so I was a bit put off by his condescending undertone. I respect the men and women who conduct search and rescue, I don’t feel this book did them justice.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Terrible Narration

I don't mean to bag on Kyle Tait but he made the book very difficult to listen to. While the subject matter is very interesting, especially for someone with a background in rescue, it is 100% not necessary for the narrator to take a dramatic pause after every 5th word. I feel like I could have gotten through this book in half the time if he had just read it. It was very frustrating and I will be avoiding him in the future, no matter how interesting the book may be. He just ruined it.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

I tried

I like adventure books, but this is not one. This is far too much history and background information for me. It was so slow moving. I gave it a good try, eight chapters but finally realized it was just going to continue to be more of a burden than a pleasure.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Bored and annoyed

For one I was expecting something along the lines of a plot or narrative, but no. Second, I usually expect a narrator to know some fairly common literary words, but again, nope. It was the continued mispronunciations that finally made me shut this off, but the fawning over Thoreau as such a heroic adventurer (the man had his mom making him food and doing his laundry) was also annoying.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Book matches book description.

I don’t know why this book is getting a lot of hate on here. It was exactly how it was described. It was a book about SAR history in the Whites. It had plenty stories about real rescues to make it relevant. To those complaining about the acronyms: their definitions are explained at least once for every agency, but more importantly it’s how each agency id’s themselves! Don’t hate on the author for using them.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

amazingly eye opening read.

narrated well. eye opening. some of the back "history" had me wandering off but over all... definitely recommend!

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

So terribly boring

The focus should be on the victims and how they were found right? But not according to this writer who was obviously more interested in endlessly repeating the acronyms of the various rescue agencies over and over and over and.....yes...over.
Do not waste your time or valuable $15 credit. If you do not ask for a refund within 48 hours of ordering a book then you are stuck with it. Does not give near enough time to get into the book and see if you like it or not.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Narration needs improvement

The story is essentially a detailed catalog of hiker emergencies & rescues, some covered in more detail with other books.

The main issue I have is with the narration. Narrator sounds artificial & robotic, with the same intonation through each & every sentence. Almost sounds like someone reading an instruction manual. Because of that, I could not get through the book.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Just incredible it took place in my backyard.

Sandy’s book transporters me back home to Franconia. I spent most of my days they’re climbing and hiking the amazing mountains surrounding my town..
We were always hearing about SAR efforts.
I live in Utah now, and I’d like to thank Sandi for transporting me back to my hometown for several nourishing hours.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Search and rescue in NH's White Mountains

First, I live in the White Mountains and hike and ski. With this background, I found the book very interesting. Reading other reviews, I think this book is widely misunderstood by others. It is not a dramatic story of search and rescue, and it is not a collection of adventure stories about people getting in trouble in the mountains. There are other books that better serve those interests. Instead, it is about the people and organizations who go into harm's way to help those in trouble. In New Hampshire there are many such groups all with their own acronyms and idiosyncrasies. If you are interested in learning more about search and rescue, including disputes about funding and philosophy of approach, this is the book for you. With regard to the narrator, I think he did a fine job although he did botch the local pronunciations, such as Coos County and Berlin, but pretty much everyone who isn't from this area does mispronounce these place names.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!