It’s kind of strange that after half a dozen books of being on their own, we now have several in a row that always have Grandfather and other adults watching over them, even as they get older and (hopefully) wiser.
That being said, the (easy mode) mountain climbing is pretty neat, getting stranded is actually pretty good from a survival perspective, and finding and exploring caves is something I’ve always found cool–even if the Aldens don’t actually do much of that part.
On the other hand, when you hear that there’s an old Indian woman living alone because she wants to, you don’t just go drop in unannounced and when you find out she’s worried about losing your land… Grandfather just out and buys it? Sure it’s ostensibly for a good cause, but that is really not a good way to teach people to solve problems…
Overall, it’s a fine enough book, but probably among the weaker of the series so far.