Buckle up tight for an adrenaline-charged ride with doctor Emmanuel Cauchy on his most memorable missions with the world's busiest helicopter rescue service. Radioed in at a moment's notice, he and his team brave all conditions to reach survivors and victims, their helicopter frequently battered by winds as the pilot fights to keep control. Then the drop begins. And the fear kicks in. It's non-stop mission after mission in this marvellous suspense-packed memoir, from the near-death experience of plummeting into a bergschrund with a rescue victim, or seeing his fellow rescuer swept off the mountain before his eyes, to the rescue of Jamie Andrew trapped for five days on one of the most difficult ice faces in the Alps, and the climber who survived a fall to rival those of Jaws in James Bond. Cauchy vividly conveys the thrill of being whirled over vast jagged blades of gleaming ice and rock (and the heavy foreboding silence left when the thump of rotor blades disappears).
But also the profound acquired sense of the fragility of life - the feeling of bones cracking and splintering in his hands as he treats a victim - and the realization that the 'white death' doesn't always take those she intends.