Buried - Book Launch at ACC Clubhouse


Editor's note: Ken Wylie's book Buried has just been published by Rocky Mountain Books and is in the ACC store. The ACC is honoured to be able to host the official book launch for Buried on Saturday, November 1 at the Canmore Clubhouse. Ken will be giving a short presentation and will be available to meet and chat and sign your book. 7:00 - 10:00pm, beer and wine available. See you there.

Crown Fracture at La Traviata. Photo: BC Coroner.

Crown Fracture at La Traviata. Photo: BC Coroner.


Buried chronicles my experience working at Selkirk Mountain Experience in the days before and during a tragic avalanche that happened on a backcountry ski run called La Traviata on January 20th 2003. The book portrays a deadly dynamic between lead guide Ruedi Beglinger and myself, that I believe was the direct cause of our involvement in a massive slide that took seven lives. This dynamic is laid bare in the pages of Buried so that others may learn.

The book is also the story of my processing the tragic events, by reflecting on the lessons that my life of adventure was trying to teach me long before any snow slid on La Traviata.

Why did I write the book?

The best answer to why I've written this book is the analogy of a climber's pack. An alpinist may spend days working out exactly what to carry on an adventure in the mountains - everything in their pack must either sustain of protect them in some way; if it does neither, it gets tossed. After the tragedy on La Traviata I was carrying a lot of things that were not sustaining or protecting me. It was weight that was making my life unbearable. I decided that I needed to be accountable for my actions, as I had played a role in people loosing their lives. Through reflecting and writing, I discovered important lessons from my actions that day that now help me in moving forward with my life: understanding what social courage is, knowing to trust my intuition and speaking my truth. Now the things I carry from the tragedy both sustain and protect me, as well as the people I now lead in the mountains.

We understand the notion that with freedom comes responsibility. The reverse is also true — with responsibility comes freedom.