The Gorge by Aaron Blaylock


The GorgeIn this instance it will help to set out the synopsis before continuing with the review.

This is the true story of a Venturing Crew’s harrowing journey through Hellsgate Wilderness and down Tonto Gorge. Follow a well-meaning youth leader as he and his boys set off on a backpacking trip that quickly pushes them to their limits and ultimately forges a bond for life.

At the suggestion of their good Bishop, the Priest quorum and their advisor plan a four day backpacking trip down Tonto gorge. None of them completely understood what they were in for until it was too late to turn back.

The group must make their way from Little Green Valley, up and over Apache Ridge and down through Tonto Narrows outside of Gisela. This twenty five mile excursion, within the confines of a canyon, tests their mental and physical resolve. They must pull together to insure that everyone makes it out alive.


As stated in the synopsis this is the true story of some young men and their leader who venture out on an outward bound experience for a few days. It does have the feel of an accurate and detailed account.

The reader’s enjoyment of this book will more than likely be impacted by personal experience. Those without any outward bound experience may well find it of interest and amusing. However, those who have participated in any such venture may find it a little boring in places.

The author has been honest about his own feelings and abilities and portrays the young participant’s attitudes very well. They do undergo some difficult and uncomfortable situations with some suffering further because of their own naïve and perhaps foolish ideas. But it would be wrong to be judgmental; everyone was young once.

There is the occasional, very occasional, attempt to impart a moral lesson. No doubt resulting from the author’s own background and the fact this particular outing was undertaken with the blessing of their bishop. As said these are occasional and therefore readers who do not relish such matters need not be over concerned.

For anyone contemplating such an adventure this book does provide a realistic and practical warning. Namely, the need to invest proper time into the preparations for such an undertaking.

Depending upon the reader’s own life experience the rating for this book may well waver between two or three stars. In this reviewer’s opinion it, overall, merits three stars (3*). See Assessing Book Review Ratings for further understanding of the rating system.

This is a short book of only 18,790 words and is FREE.

It is only available as an e-book (.mobi; epub; pdf; etc. formats) from

It may also be read in the author’s blog.

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