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IN BRIEF

Nonfiction

December 17, 1995|CHRIS GOODRICH

THE FALLING SEASON: Inside the Life and Death Drama of Aspen's High Mountain Rescue Team by Hal Clifford (HarperCollinsWest: $20; 267 pp.). How does a mountain rescue team recruit new members? Aspen's squad hands out a flier saying, "There is little or no glory in Mountain Rescue. . . . For the most part, participation in rescue or recovery involves long periods of waiting followed by long periods of very hard and disagreeable work." Hal Clifford, an Aspen-based journalist, joined his local rescue team to write about it; others say they enlisted to raise their "back-country karma," for companionship or out of compassion, but they also admit they signed up for the adrenaline rush of lives-on-the-line emergencies. It's a thrill Clifford ably communicates: He gives warm and fuzzy accounts of runaway-dog rescues and depressing chronicles of staff politics, but the heart of the book is blow-by-blow descriptions of attempts to find hunters, climbers and skiers in desperate straits.

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