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The Last Season

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New!New Paperback Edition!

The Last Season, winner of the National Outdoor Book Award (NOBA) in the category of biography/history and finalist for the Banff Mountain Book Festival in the category of mountain literature, is now available in paperback. The lightweight, backpacker-friendly copy features a newly designed cover and sixteen NEW PAGES in the P.S. section, including exclusive photos and text.

To answer the overwhelming number of requests for “more of Randy Morgenson's writings”, the author has included the haunting, never-before-published essay written by Randy Morgenson: “Shared by Mortals”.

Also in the P.S. section is a dedication to mountaineer Patty Rambert, an early fan of The Last Season, who died tragically while climbing in the Sierra shortly after the book's publication.

There is also an expanded biography and interview with the author about some of the more sensitive issues covered in the book. New photos and more behind-the-scenes looks at the research and detective work that went into the The Last Season makes this edition a great value.

About the Book.

THE LAST SEASON TELLS THE INSPIRING, POIGNANT TRUE STORY OF THE LIFE AND MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE OF JAMES RANDALL MORGENSON WHO, over the course of 28 summers spent in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains, became arguably the most celebrated ranger in the National Park Service's most adventurous unit. For the solitary, introspective Morgenson, the job was a calling, and he became fiercely devoted to protecting the wilderness he loved from the backcountry visitors, and those visitors from the wilderness. But the intense isolation and a series of personal setbacks took their toll, and when Morgenson vanished without a trace, many suspected suicide or foul play.

The story of Randy Morgenson as told in Eric Blehm’s The Last Season is an intriguing adventure narrative, complex psychological portrait, and compelling mystery. Was Morgenson murdered by one of the two disgruntled park visitors (a climber and a cowboy) who Morgenson had felt threatened by just the summer before his disappearance? Did the guilt he suffered after being unfaithful to his wife and his growing despair with the state of the Park Service drive him to take his own life? Had he simply met with some unfortunate accident and been unable to call for help because of the parks’ substandard radio system—a problem he had complained about numerous times in the past and documented in his yearly reports? Or could Morgenson’s isolation and increasing despondency have prompted him to walk out of the wilderness and begin a new life? He had, after all, hinted about doing just that.

The Process

ERIC BLEHM SPENT EIGHT YEARS RETRACING THE LIFE OF RANDY MORGENSON, piecing together the portrait of a man from journals, letters, photos, and interviews with his wife, friends, and colleagues. He hiked the same trails Morgenson hiked, scoured park archives and peak registers, and even read the same books Morgenson had read in the months leading up to his disappearance. (The last book Morgenson had been reading held the chilling line “… I shall go on some last wilderness trip, to a place I have known and loved. I shall not return.”) As a result of tedious, leave-no-stone-unturned investigation, Blehm’s account of Morgenson’s life and disappearance offers an honest, compelling, and complete biography of one of the Park Service’s greatest men—and one of the parks’ greatest mysteries.

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Read all the spectacular reviews for The Last Season!


"As Jon Krakauer did with Into The Wild, Blehm turns a missing-man riddle into an insightful meditation on wilderness and the personal demons and angels that propel us into it alone."  Full review

Men's Journal

"Blehm recounts the search for Morgenson with a thriller’s pacing, pausing only to dig back into the ranger’s idyllic wilderness childhood . . . a potent testament to the enduring power and allure of wild spaces."  Full review

National Geographic Adventure

"Blehm . . . deftly interweaves the story of Morgenson’s life-long devotion to wilderness with a riveting account of the hunt for him."  Full review


"The search for [ranger Randy Morgenson] drives the engrossing narrative forward at the speed of a best-selling thriller."  Full review

Adventures NW

"Part nature, part biography and part mystery, Eric Blehm’s THE LAST SEASON pursues and brings substance to a man’s life in the absence of a body, but very much in the presence of his spirit."  Full review

"The author’s research, his affinity for the missing ranger and his obvious love for the Sierra Nevada mountains all come shining through to make THE LAST SEASON a must read."  Full review


"A vibrant and ultimately tragic story of a man whose life was full of passion until the very end."  Full review

READ MORE spectacular reviews for The Last Season!

Read the Advance Praise for The Last Season