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Books for Backcountry Skiers

December 16, 2010

So I was asked by work colleague about the ins and outs of backcountry skiing. Avalanches, danger and all the spooky things associated with playing in the mountains.

The best way to learn is to throw yourself into the deep end and get out to the middle of nowhere and start skiing. But before you do that here is some recommended reading material. A book I’ve picked up from an avalanche course a few years back, a recommendation from guide friend and of course the complete resource. I read and re-read this stuff every year. Hey the more you know, the more trouble you get to be involved in!

For Starters…. Backcountry Avalanche Essential by Bruce Jamieson

This was required reading for the Avalanche Skills Training Course I took a few years back. Bruce Jamieson is about as knowledgeable as we humans come in terms of snow science. It may be a bit basic for the seasoned backcountry skier but it covers all the basics of terrain and snow awareness and is a great read for anyone starting out.  Get yourself a copy or better yet get yourself out on an Avalanche Awareness course. for the stuff in Canada, or if you’re looking for a recommendation in Europe I’d be happy to recommend a guide friend (Pete Mason in Chamonix in particular).

Next up…. Glacier Mountaineering, An Illustrated Guide to Glacier Travel and Crevasse Rescue by Andy Tyson and Mike Clelland

YOU NEED THIS BOOK. Even if you know everything there is about travelling on glaciers and crevasse rescue you will appreciate the humour and illustrations in this book. It’s pure genius.

An extremely in depth guide to everything glacier travel, from using an ice axe and crampons to roping up and crevasse rescue. All in a very amusing package. I read and re-read this book each year. It’s simple reading and the depth of info is fantastic.

Finally, the Braveheart of outdoors books… Freedom!!!!! Mountaineering, The Freedom of the Hills

The encyclopedia of Mountaineering. You want to know how to go camping? its in here. You want info on which stove is best at altitude? its in here. How to read terrain, rope techniques, ice climbing, first aid and of course info on backcountry skiing????? Check check and check. Every household should have one.

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 16, 2010 10:12 pm

    You should also consider giving “Staying Alive in Avalanche terrain” a read. It is by Bruce Tremper and is not too techy, has lots of pictures and stats to drive things home – for thos eof us who are not uber snow geeks.

    Highly recommend it.


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