Working on the Backcountry Skiing Booklist

Post by blogger | September 1, 2010      

Figured I’d better finish the formatting and updating before Christmas gift buying season! So you can ever so subtly refer it to your loved ones, or use it for your own exercise of generosity (grin)?

If you guys know of any new books I should add, now is a good time as I’m in there working on it over the next few days. Thanks in advance.

Backcountry Skiing Booklist

This is part of my greater project to refurb many of our back-end content pages here at WildSnow. Time consuming but worth it.


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


25 Responses to “Working on the Backcountry Skiing Booklist”

  1. Travis September 1st, 2010 10:57 am

    Released last winter the West Kootenay Touring Guide offers a basic, introduction to some of the classic lines and areas in the Kootenays. I found the guide to be a good primer for the area but is only the beginning of what could be an excellent guide once more material and locations are included. This is the perfect guide for anyone new to the area looking to get started on some of the best terrain in Canada.

  2. kirk September 1st, 2010 11:51 am

    Hey Lou! I didn’t see the Chuting Gallery on there, or I just missed it? Super helpful and necessary read in the Wasatch if steep and deep is your game…

  3. Jack September 1st, 2010 1:15 pm

    Jill Fredston’s Snowstruck in the Grip of Avalanches (Harcourt 2005) is on my backcountry skier must-read list. Ms. Fredston wrote her personal perspective on snow safety, accumulated from her life as Alaska’s avalanche forecaster and mountain rescue team member. Fredston takes the reader far beyond the technical analysis of snow safety to the despair of those close to avalanche victims and the sadness of those would-be rescuers who complete body recovery missions.

  4. Halsted September 1st, 2010 2:30 pm

    Hi Lou,

    The Backcountry Skier’s Field Book is now out of print.

    But, it has been replaced by the Professional Snow Data Field Book. And it is available through the new website of the link you hve to the old website is kapoot.


  5. Dave B September 1st, 2010 2:44 pm

    Hi Lou,

    Great list! One of my favorites, which is a bit hard to find, and may also be outside your area of interest is Mont Blanc and the Aiguille Rouges–A guide for skiers by Anselme Baud.

    Great reading, history, and a model guide for ski descent descriptions.

  6. Paul September 1st, 2010 6:34 pm
  7. Paul September 1st, 2010 6:40 pm

    Just thought of another – “High Odyssey” by Gene Rose – the story of Orland Bartholemew’s 1929 ski of the Muir Trail

  8. mt surf September 2nd, 2010 12:23 am

    Hi Lou,

    Another of Thomas Turiano’s works, Select Peaks of the Greater Yellowstone: A
    Mountaineering History and Guide, should undoubtedly be on your list. It’s the preeminent ‘glisse’ glide for the Greater Yellowstone.

  9. Terry September 2nd, 2010 12:42 am

    Selkirks North, and Selkirks South, both by David P. Jones, Elaho Press, Squamish

  10. Terry September 2nd, 2010 12:49 am

    Selkirks North,
    David P. Jones, Elaho Press, 2004

    Selkirks South,
    David P. Jones, Elaho Press, 2001

  11. Christian September 2nd, 2010 3:45 am

    I suggest you make a section with forreign tours.

    The book “Toppturer in Romsdalen” by Halvor Hagen (IFMGA) should be on the list for anyone looking for skiing in scandinavia, or is planning to write a guide book. Romsdalen (Norway) is one of the more spectacular areas. The book is excellent: includes gradients, dangers, alternative routes and is filled with local knowledge regarding where to go according to the weather etc.
    The book is mostly in Norwegian, but has english breifs…

  12. Jonathan Shefftz September 2nd, 2010 5:47 am

    — Tremper entry & link needs to be updated to the newer second edition.

    — I question whether some of those older avy safety books are still worth recommending, or even listing? I mean, given Tremper’s book, why are those other books even worth reading? Two exceptions are these little books from LaChapelle:
    Field Guide to Snow Crystals
    Secrets of the Snow: Visual Clues to Avalanche and Ski Conditions

    — Need two different entries & links for Goodman, since he has two different volumes (NH/ME & VT/NY).

    — Allen and Mike’s Really Cool Backcountry Ski Book = “Highly recommended” for what exactly? Laughing at all the old school tele hippies whose idea of a good time is ascending really slowly then falling all over the place on the descent? I mean, given that that is a Dynafit-oriented website, and given that the Volken book is outstanding, what’s the point of reading that thing?

  13. Lou September 2nd, 2010 7:17 am

    Thanks you guys! I’ll work on all your suggestions!

  14. Lou September 2nd, 2010 7:19 am

    Jonathan, the old books are in there for collectors and historians, I know of no other bibliography like this so I’m trying for it to do double duty, both as a shopping list and historical resource. But good point about listing avy books. What I’ll do is add a caveat to those old books about them being on the list for the historical record and for collectors, not to be sought out to use for avy education!

    I think I’d still recommend “Really Cool Backcountry Ski Book” to newbies, as it has a ton of tips, but you’re right about the other options being so good. Perhaps I’ll tone it down a bit. Such feedback is great, as some of what you’re seeing in that list is legacy stuff that can and should be rephrased.

  15. Lou September 2nd, 2010 7:55 am

    Kirk, last time I looked Chuting Gallery was in there! But perhaps it got accidentally messed up while I was styling the page. I’ll check. Thanks.

  16. telemike September 2nd, 2010 4:34 pm


    The Avalanche Hunters – Monty Atwater
    The Avalanche Enigma – Colin Fraser
    The Avalanche Book – Betsy Armstrong and Knox Williams
    Field Guide to Snow Crystals – Ed LaChapelle
    Secrets of the Snow – Ed LaChapelle
    Glacier Ice – Ed LaChapelle and Austin Post
    On Snow and Rock – Gaston Rebuffat
    Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding Lake Tahoe – Brandyn Roth
    Backcountry Skiing – Martin Volken

  17. telemike September 2nd, 2010 4:35 pm

    poor reading by me – I see a couple are already on there – carry on

  18. telemike September 2nd, 2010 5:20 pm

    Northwest Ski Trails – Ted Mueller, Bob and Ira Spring – 1968

    Wilderness Skiing – Lito Tejada-Flores & Allen Steck – 1972 – became Backcountry Skiing

    Oregon Descents – Dave Waag

  19. telemike September 2nd, 2010 5:23 pm

    again with the reading comprehension…

  20. Matt Kinney September 2nd, 2010 7:13 pm

    A book that should be written?

    Alaska Backcountry Skiing: Anchorage, Turnigan Pass and Hatcher Pass.

    They are sooooo… secretive over there for very good reason. I suspect someone is working on it. It is way overdue.

    I second Snowstruck by J. Fredston

    Great list lou.

  21. Mårten Pettersson September 3rd, 2010 5:12 am

    I think you missed the best book about mountain knowledge for skiers:

    Free skiing, how to adapt to the mountain by Jimmy Odén.

    400 pages or so that has everything from avalanches, crevasse rescue, climbing, mountain weather, equipment etc. And it is up to date.

    If you dream about ski touring in the Alps I must recommend:

    Alpine Ski Mountaineering: Western Alps and Alpine Ski Mountaineering: Eastern Alps by Bill O Connor

    Two nice guide for the best ski tours, hut to hut, in the Alps. Everything from the Houte Route (Chamonix – Zermatt) to more unknown tours. The only two books you need for your trip to the Alps.

  22. Lee September 3rd, 2010 8:14 am

    Have you ever seen “Ice Runway” by Roy Mason – more of a West Coast flying book but the author used his supercub to access the Coast Mtn Range in BC for skiing and climbing adventures in the late 60’s and 70’s -very good read

  23. Lapland September 3rd, 2010 10:46 am

    Great list, love the picture gallery.

  24. andrew C September 7th, 2010 5:22 pm

    To respond to Travis, poster #1, the West Kootenay Touring Guide is one of a two part program. The website, at, is another component and features 75 tours and growing. The guidebook is, in fact, only the beginning. Lou–we’ve tried to get through your understandably impenetrable spam filters to send you a note offering you a copy but have had no luck… :pouty:

  25. andrew C September 7th, 2010 5:43 pm

    I just committed the ultimate faux pas and wrote down our URL incorrectly. Shoot me. It should be Sorry ’bout that everyone. (Editor’s note: I changed in previous comment).

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