Backcountry Media and Gifts


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | December 3, 2005      

In current backcountry media, someone shared this link to an interview with California guidebook author Marcus Libkind. In the interview, Marcus talks about how he’d like to provide a digital version of his books. Interesting idea! As Marcus is quite prolific, he’s the person to watch with this sort of thing.

I’ve been hard at work placing new product on the Vintage Ski World online store. Recent additions I’d recommend for gifts are the book “Boys of Winter,” and Dick Barrymore’s movie, “Last of the Ski Bums.”

Backcountry skiing and war.
Boys of Winter, click image to shop.

Boys of Winter is about the Tenth Mountain Division soldiers of World War Two. Yeah I know, how many other books about the 10th have we been bombarded with over the years? Don’t worry, this one raises the bar. It takes a very detailed and personal point of view, and follows three young men as they make the “brutal, heroic and ultimately tragic transformation from athletes to infantrymen in with the fabled Tenth Mountain Division.” More, author Charles Sanders doesn’t mince words when it comes to philosophizing about war, and is so bold as to address the actual military need for the Tenth’s battles in Italy — Monday morning quarterbacking for sure, but interesting nonetheless.

Last of the Ski Bums is the highlight of all this. What a movie! Made in 1967 for only $12,000 and distributed as a feature film, this flick was to my generation what Blizzard of Ahhhs was to the current “freeride” crowd. Somewhat campy for sure (as Blizzard is fast becoming), Ski Bums nonetheless entertains. The story line is goofy and loose (Plake’s role models?), scenes of Ron Funk disco dancing are a total howler, but the skiing! You have to check these guys out, blasting face shot powder on skinny 210cm planks. Make no mistake, powder skiing in 1967 took exceptional athletic ability — knowing that, when you view the skiing in Ski Bums, your jaw will drop. The best sequence is in Jackson Hole (one of the skiers is double lens goggle inventor Bob Smith), with another incredible clip of the boys skiing powder in a wind storm, high above Chamonix. And, in keeping with last winter’s blog theme of reviewing every movie that’s ever shown an avalanche, Ski Bums delivers that as well (also available from Vintage Ski World.



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