Many years ago (late '60s to '70s), I read a story about a boy with a group of hikers on a ridge who get caught in a lightning storm. They all run off the ridge, and, apparently, the boy went down the wrong side, and he got lost.

The boy ended up needing to survive on his own. He used a paperclip that was on a letter from his parents to make a fishhook. When the hook (his lifeline) got caught in the water, he had to dive down to retrieve it, and on the way up, he cracked his head, getting a bad concussion, and that led to the bad decision of moving from his spot (always stay where you are so the rescuers can find you).

Last year, I attended something, and one of the presentations was by a very old man on Wilderness Survival. It was a very good presentation, and he talked about a few stories he read. I told him about this one, and he really wanted the name of it, but I simply have no idea what it is. If anyone has any idea about this story, I would really appreciate it so I can tell this man.


It was written in English and set in the U.S., which is where I read it, but I really do not remember if it was a short story or novel. Remember, this was around 50 years ago. I get accused of remembering everything, but, unfortunately, it is not true. It may have been in the library of my elementary school or junior high school, or maybe the public library. I was reading at a college level in elementary school, and, as I remember it, it was written at least a high school level.


2 Answers 2


I'm pretty sure I finally found what I was looking for. The book from 1965 is called The Summer I was Lost. Apparently, it was re-released in 1972 under the title Terror on the Mountain (The Summer I was Lost).

It was written by Phillip Viereck. The Terror on the Mountain title sounds familiar, and that is probably the release I read around the time it was released.

The boy thought himself a loser, and was picked on. The hike was to build self-esteem, which he has in plenty at the end of the book when he manages to survive on his own in the wilderness.

It seems to be out of print in either title, but I think I found a copy of each.


This also sounds somewhat like My Side of the Mountain.

  • 1
    It'd greatly improve the quality of your answer if you explained what details exactly make the book in question sound like "My Side of the Mountain" Commented Aug 2, 2020 at 20:42
  • 1
    We have some guidelines for good story-ID answers which may be helpful.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Aug 2, 2020 at 21:03

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