The Avalanche that Changed Canada

Eric Dafoe labored mightily in Glacier National Park to keep the public safe.

Scratch any person and tragedy will bubble up. Dafoe had had his own share. A world-class athlete, his legs traveled thousands of miles a year on snow and rock in some of the mightiest terrain in the world. On February 1, 2003, as he was headed to the hardware store on his day off, his phone rang. His life would never be the same…  Read More »

  • “The world needs to hear this story and you’re the one to tell it.  You’re totally amazing. You speak for those kids.”

    - Donna Broshko, parent of victim Scott Broshko

  • “We’re a country of hardship and heroics.  This is what this has been all about for me—the hardship of families that have been devastated by this event, and the heroics of people picking themselves up and achieving great things…Your book will make a significant contribution to avalanche safety and awareness. Too many of these deaths should be avoided.”

    - Alan Latourelle, former CEO Parks Canada

  • “[This avalanche] is considered one of the worst tragedies in Canadian mountaineering history. To this day, it still haunts the late-night conversations of the area’s park staff and mountain guides. Fifty people helped in the rescue and recovery effort that day — and many … are just as scarred by what happened on Feb. 1, 2003 as the family members of the lost skiers. Their story is told in an extraordinary forthcoming book by Boston-based writer Heidi Wyle.”

    - Jon Kay, editor of The Walrus Magazine

A Note from Heidi

I wrote Live Big! because as a mother and mountaineer the cold death of seven children was intolerable. After the STS tragedy I spent many days in high places with mountain guides, a number of whom were rescuers and all of whom had been kicked in the gut. For years the evening talk in tents, lodges and under the shadow of the peaks, was endless mastication of the avalanche details: the conditions, the risk, the Connaught valley terrain, the crazy winter, the snowpack. The community was wounded; the guides talked to convince themselves it couldn’t happen to them. Of course it could. It could happen to anyone. My girls are out there–it could have been them.
Read Heidi’s Full Bio »