No one knew what triggered the Swandyke avalanche that began at exactly 4:10 p.m. on April 20, 1920. It might have been the dynamite charge that was set off at the end of shift on the upper level of the Fourth of July Mine. The miners claimed the blast was too far inside the mountain to be felt on the surface, and besides, they had set off dynamite hundreds, maybe thousands of times before, and nothing bad had happened. Except for that one time when a charge failed to go off and Howard Dolan hit it with his pick when he was mucking out the stope and blew himself and his partner to kingdom come.
Still, who knew how the old mountain took retribution for having its insides clawed out.
Certainly, there was nothing to suggest that the day was different from any other. It started chill and clear
The above is an excerpt from Sandra Dallas' latest book "Whiter Than Snow". If you follow the link you can read a little more of the excerpt. I have been offered a copy of the book to review on my blog and I'll give you a full report after I've read it.