Tom Kincaid (William Devane) and his wife, Anne (Patti Duke), are looking forward to celebrating their anniversary at their winter cabin with their three children (Carla, Rick and Susan). Tom is a wealthy businessman who has built his fortune on a chain of furniture stores. Although successful in business, his domineering personality creates too much family tension and anxiety. Much to the chagrin of his wife who carries the burden of easing the tension between her husband and their children.
On the morning of the trip, Tom and family wait impatiently at the airport for youngest daughter Susan. After learning that her ride got stuck in a storm on the way to the airport, Tom decides they should go ahead without her. Although the winds are fierce, he refuses to cancel or postpone the flight. As the private plane takes-off with Tom at the helm, the storm intensifies. Soon the wings ice up, throwing the plane out of control and into a mountain. The family must trust and rely on each other to survive an avalanche, hunger and freezing winds.
If we've learned nothing from reality (or even movies), one should never take a small plane up in bad weather at night. Still, the inevitable crash and the search and rescue operation become a dramatic device so that the real talents of each family member can emerge.
Director Michael Switzer makes good use of snowy mountain locales (filmed on location in Vancouver, Canada) and thankfully keeps the story moving. Technical credits go to the plane crash sequence which occurs at night (this is probably a good thing), and with a happy ending assured, it's the perfect "family sitting down to dinner" type of movie.