Where You'll Find Me

Risk, Decisions, and the Last Climb of Kate Matrosova

On February 15, 2015, Kate Matrosova, an avid mountaineer, set off before sunrise for a traverse of the Northern Presidential Range in New Hampshire's White Mountains. Late the following day, rescuers carried her frozen body out of the mountains amid some of the worst weather ever recorded on these deceptively rugged slopes.

At 32, she was ultra-fit and healthy and had already summited much larger mountains on several continents. Her gear included a rescue beacon and a satellite phone. Yet, despite their best efforts, forty-two expert search and rescue personnel, a New Hampshire Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopter, and a Civil Air Patrol Cessna airplane could not reach her in time to save her.

What went wrong? Where You'll Find Me offers possible answers to that question, demonstrating why Matrosova's story - what we know and what we will never know - represents such an intriguing and informative case study in risk analysis and decision-making.

Ty Gagne is chief executive officer of New Hampshire Public Risk Management Exchange (Primex3), a public entity risk pool serving local governments in New Hampshire. He is a certified wilderness first responder, and serves on the Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue Team and Board of Directors. He lives in New Hampshire with his wife.

The book includes a foreword by Caroline Alexander, renowned author of The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition, and The Bounty: The True Story of Mutiny on the Bounty.

Where You'll Find Me is a must read for anyone interested in mountaineering and extreme weather and offers lessons in decision-making for us all.

Early Reviews:

"Ty Gagne's account of this tragedy is one of the best 360 degree analyses I've ever seen. Objective facts of the case aside--clothing, equipment, etc., the human factors for all involved provide us with important perspectives. His research on the elements of risk and how we make decisions should serve readers well when they venture forth in any wilderness setting."
- John E. (Jed) Williamson, President Emeritus, Sterling College, Editor, Accidents in North American Mountaineering, '74 - '14, Current board member: Central Asia Institute, Former President American Alpine Club

I first wanted to read the book as my son was the Blackhawk pilot hoping for a rescue. But quickly reading the book I was spellbound by how the author presented facts of her climb and the expertise of so many talented and dedicated people from the White Mountain region, My son and i have climbed the route Kate took in good weather and it is challenging even then. The insight to the physical and mental adversities is mind boggling. I have had the pleasure of seeing the author's presentation first hand and was captivated by his commitment to detail...........all the details that all involved had to face and the decisions they had to make. I am so thankful that all of the rescuers made it back safely. At the end of the book my thoughts were only for Kate and her husband Charlie.
By Douglas S Hamiltonon August 31, 2017, Posted on Amazon

WOW! A gripping, well-written page-turner. It takes you to a beautiful and dangerous place, the White Mountains of NH, propelling you through a heart-wrenching, pulse-pounding account of a powerful climber's fateful encounter with nature at its worst, leaving you to seriously question your own fallibility. While not a mountain climber, this reader was nonetheless drawn in to the tight clutch of this haunting yet educational story. The author wastes none of your time, skillfully exploring and balancing science, risk management and humanity. You can tell he truly cares about the climber, rescuers, mountains and unique culture enveloping them -- an authenticity that can't be simulated. Kate was an amazing and powerful woman; a super achiever who seemed willing and able to overcome any challenge. Experiencing Kate's strength, and to see it yield to nature during her last climb, leaves you with an important, timeless and terrifying lesson that even the best and most cautious of us are so often tempted to suppress because of our strength, abilities, ambitions and intrinsic need to discover ourselves. This reader, who spends free time in the ocean, is left with an uncomfortable but critical question: is there a level of risk we are all willing to take to reach our goals, even when facing the merciless elements of nature; and will we, as inherently imperfect beings, always manage it well enough to avoid tragedy? A book I'll never forget.
By Michaelon August 26, 2017, Posted on Amazon

When I first heard about Ms Matrosova's death, I thought she was very foolish for hiking on the day she did. While I may still think she was foolish, after reading this book, I now have an empathy for her that replaces the anger and sadness that I had when I first heard about her death. If you have ever over-extended yourself while out in nature and got lucky at getting out, this book will perhaps help you make better decisions in the future. The author has clearly mastered the topic of emergencies in the wild and the extensive research that he did has it filled with useful information for hikers and climbers everywhere! One might think that you couldn't write a book on an incident that took place over less than two days and one would be wrong! Once I picked this book up, I had trouble putting it down, and I may just pick it up again and re-read it. It is that good! It flows very easily and does not read like a textbook, despite the scholastic level work and research that went into creating it. If you spend any time in the out of doors, depending on yourself to get out safely, READ THIS BOOK!
By gebbyon September 10, 2017, posted on Amazon

This is one of those books you can't put down until the last page. Not just a story for climbers and outdoor enthusiasts, Gagne takes the reader to a place we can all identify with. How do we weigh risks versus rewards, and what are the factors that can in many cases distract from true objectivity? Gagne honors Matrosova's amazing life journey in a way that left me with a true appreciation for her as a person. Her desire to climb and to never back down from a challenge was reflective of who she was and where she came from. Gagne's meticulous account can't help but leave the reader with a true admiration for natures glory and deep respect for her awesome power. I loved the way Gagne paralleled Matrosova's chain of events with the heroes who would risk it all in order to aid a climber in need. When you read a book, you want it to grip you, inspire you, and make you think. This amazing recount of Matrosova's story does just that. Bravo!
By Amazon Customer on September 9, 2017, posted on Amazon

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