Book Review – Mad Dog Mountain


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | January 25, 2005      

Backcountry skiing and mountain mystics.

Can you mix God, heaven and backcountry skiing? Many would say “YES, every time I ski powder.” Beyond enjoying fruits of the material world, such as a perfect backcountry skiing run in God’s own fluff, I’ve always been partial to mountain mysticism, and enjoyed discovering the occasional book that delved into the unseen portion of the mountain ethos. I’ve read nearly every mountain mystic writing I could get my hands on — from Buddhist to pagan, and enjoyed every one.

But western writers, especially those with a Christian slant, frequently struggle with mixing spirituality and mountain sports. Richard Day takes on the challenge in his new book, Mad Dog Mountain. Written in what I’d call the “magic realism” style popularized by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mad Dog Mountain tells the love story and spiritual journey of two North American mountain folk in their athletic youth.

Shop for Mad Dog Mountain

It’s a wild ride that would make Marcquez proud. When Nancy meets Jim while doing CPR on him after a car crash, you know things are getting strange. When the two end up in a Yurt with a bunch of rasty pagans who burn down the yurt, things get exceedingly strange. After that, all bets are off as the book splits between the real world of Nancy, Jim, and a few of the pagans waiting for rescue while bivouacked in a storage box, to an alternate reality Jim as he’s dying from injuries sustained in an avalanche (he was out backcountry skiing while the Yurt burned down, then they rescued him). Whew.

Warning: With its overt sexuality and graphic descriptions of injuries and such (“cold fingers and hot yurts”), Mad Dog Mountain is definitely an adult book. The same could be said of the book’s spiritual theme, which ultimately leads to concepts of reaching heaven through salvation — while using a hefty dose of “magical” metaphor. But if you’re a backcountry skier with an open mind, Christian, agnostic or otherwise, you’ll enjoy it.

And for you telemarkers out there, rest assured, the “soul turn” is the ONLY turn in Mad Dog Mountain.

Comments

Comments are closed.

  Your Comments

  • Lou Dawson 2: Hi Greg, I did have a graphic at one time but I don't recall it having reso...
  • Greg: I remember there being an image of the D scale at some point – with resort ...
  • Hans D.: Great advice. I hadn't thought about the "quickstep" notch, but now that y...
  • Dean Gagnon: Hello, Does anyone know where to get spare hinges for the tounge of the ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Billy Goat, IMHO the Amer (Salomon) binding is not a done deal, it will be ...
  • Rod Georgiu: Good idea...
  • zak: Any idea on if/when Scarpa will update the F1 to include the tech from the ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: I'll say it. Many Dynafit ski models are built to be lightweight and not pa...
  • Tomas: Destruction topsheet - only 2 days during normal telemark skiing. I'm wait...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Glad you liked the photos, was a fun day with you guys. Main thing, just gi...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Agree, someone needs to forget about TUV and all that sort of thing and jus...
  • szaraz levente: I do not need a TUV certificate brake, I only hate the wire wich connect me...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Hans, the best thing to do is put your boot-binding combo on a release test...
  • Hans D.: Regarding touring boots with swappable soles for alpine use: I have Lupo TI...
  • Dave Johnson: My mind is blown at the binding technology going on today. Imagine, in '76 ...
  • Bar Barrique: Jason; If you choose to replace the liners, I would advise speaking to the ...
  • BillyGoat: Convertible alpine bindings will defiantly have a market (aside from the fi...
  • Lou Dawson 2: My bad Dan, trying to be brief, I'm talking about the boot locator things, ...
  • Dan: I'm reading wildsnow religiously but I don't know what's the deal with the ...
  • XXX_er: I used to think that I MUST have a cuff cant adj at the outside cuff pivot ...
  • Lou 2: Tom, a canted cuff really helps me as well, sigh.... Probably still somewh...
  • Tom Gos: Lou, thanks for confirming that the new Maestrale will not have cuff cant r...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Dynafit has packs with the same thing, just a compartment on the bottom of ...
  • Rod Georgiu: Can you explain the lower compartments with the flap? Also , have you se...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Sounds like they are incompatible, or perhaps grind off the TR2 metal tabs ...
  • William Häni: Hi, I have a pair of dynafit beast 16. I want to combine them with a pai...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Information I'll add to blog posts about this Salomon brake stopper: It's v...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Nice info Flo, thanks for helping out! Lou...
  • See: Maybe try rebaking (thermo molding) the bad liner?...
  • Flo: Me again, in case, anyone is interested in the purpose of these little plas...

  Recent Posts


Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. While the authors and editors of the information on this website make every effort to present useful information about ski mountaineering, due to human error the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

Switch To Mobile Version