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Good backcountry skiing books?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Next year I would like to do some backcountry skiing, so I'll use the summer to learn a bit more about it, and especially avalanche safety...

So does anyone have any good books they could recomend to learn more on the subject? I would really like a few good books on avy awareness and safety. Your oppinions are greatly appreciated.

post #2 of 20

Backcountry skiing: skills for ski touring and ski mountaineering by Martin Volken is one of the best and most comprehensive single book resources I've come across. It's available on Amazon.

post #3 of 20
Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain by Bruce Tremper is a good resource to learn stuff about avalanche and snow. I`m reading it right now and it has good information. Amazon has both hard and kindle copy.
post #4 of 20

"The Avalanche Handbook" by David McClung and Peter Schaerer.  (Edition 3).  This is a comprehensive resource that covers avalanche/snow science, forecasting, terrain, saftey measures/rescue and protection.  It focuses on backcountry forecasting and decision making.  I was told that it is used as a basis for some of the certified avalanche courses, (but I don't know that for a fact).  I am reading it this summer in preparation for planned avalanche courses that i intend to take early this winter.

post #5 of 20

The Avalanche Handbook is akin to Freedom of the Hills for climbers.  It is the go to resource for avalanche science, but it is also kind of dry and boring.  Worth having for sure.  Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain by Bruce Tremper is in my imo, hands down the best book to read.  Especially for those just getting into the game.  If you read it before taking a Level 1 course, you'll be way ahead of the game and will get so much more out of the Level 1 when you take it.  Bruce Tremper is the man. 
 

post #6 of 20

I have the first two books mentioned in this thread sitting on my shelf waiting to be read.  Staying Alive in Avy Terrain seems to be the bible of back country skiing since just about everyone recommends it.

post #7 of 20

Snow Sense is great. They put out a new edition last year I believe. I have the older one. The authors have forgotten more about the subject than I'll probably ever know. It is about avy safety more than bc stuff, but the two go hand in hand.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Snow-Sense-Evaluating-Avalanche-Hazard/dp/061549935X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339272114&sr=8-1&keywords=snow+sense

post #8 of 20

+1 for Snow Sense -- received the new edition in an Avy 1 class this season. Pretty much the "textbook" for the class.

post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfa81 View Post

Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain by Bruce Tremper is a good resource to learn stuff about avalanche and snow. I`m reading it right now and it has good information. Amazon has both hard and kindle copy.

im reading it also, everyone says its the best read, and the man knows his snow for sure

post #10 of 20
post #11 of 20

I`ve read Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain a few weeks ago, and I was on a business trip this week and decided to get another one to read. I got the Snow Sense, and I`m finding it to be very superficial compared to Bruce Tremper`s book. Maybe I would find it better if I`ve started with Snow Sense and move to Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain.

post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 

thanks everyone for the advice! I've just ordered Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain and Snow Sense, along with another BC skiing. I hope to finish reading those this summer, or at least before school starts in the fall...

post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post

Next year I would like to do some backcountry skiing, so I'll use the summer to learn a bit more about it, and especially avalanche safety...

So does anyone have any good books they could recomend to learn more on the subject? I would really like a few good books on avy awareness and safety. Your oppinions are greatly appreciated.

 

The avy books recommended above are worth reading, and that knowledge will come in handy down the road. 

 

Learning how to tour is almost a completely separate concept from avalanche awareness. If you have never done a tour before, learning the basics of how to tour is more important than avy awareness to start with. You can't even take an avy class until you FIRST are practiced in traveling up hill to get to avalanche terrain. You shouldn't even consider touring into avy terrain until you know how your gear works and the basics of how to travel uphill.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adie View Post

Backcountry skiing: skills for ski touring and ski mountaineering by Martin Volken is one of the best and most comprehensive single book resources I've come across. It's available on Amazon.

 

+1. I found that book comprehensive and helpful for actually learning how to tour. 


Edited by tromano - 7/4/12 at 4:47pm
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

 

+1. I found that book comprehensive and helpful for actually learning how to tour. 

Backcountry Skiing is the next book on my list. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by tromano View Post

You can't even take an avy class until you FIRST are practiced in traveling up hill to get to avalanche terrain. You shouldn't even consider touring into avy terrain until you know how your gear works and the basics of how to travel uphill.  

 

I was researching some avy training that are available close to me and indeed I found the list of requirements like "you need to be a backcountry skier" they recommend you to bring things like touring skis, skins, dynafit kinda of stuff. So the course/bootcamp I`ve looked at is asking for pretty much a complete touring equipment list. I had in my mind that avalanche awareness would be one of the first things to go look for.

 

How are we supposed to go learn how to touring outside the resort with no knowledge about terrain and avalance. I`m confuse now...

post #15 of 20

You start by using your gear in low angle, safe places. My first tours were short hikes in places where I would normally XC ski and in the resort. When you are learning to scuba dive, you start in a swimming pool or shallow water you can stand up in to become familiar with the equipment.
 

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfa81 View Post

How are we supposed to go learn how to touring outside the resort with no knowledge about terrain and avalance. I`m confuse now...

 

You go out in low angle terrain that can't slide (<25*) and learn how there. 

post #17 of 20

Picking up Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain off Amazon. It comes highly recommended. 

post #18 of 20

Echoing what others have said:

 

Volken's book is the best general treatise

 

 

Tremper's book is the best avy specific book.

post #19 of 20

Backcountry skiing: skills for ski touring and ski mountaineering by Switzerlands alpine guide Martin Volken is excellent. And Martin is a great guide who we used on the Haute Route this past March/April. Martin runs Pro Guiding Service in Washington.

post #20 of 20

I haven`t had a chance to read this one yet. I`m struggling with The Avalanche Handbook... it`s a really technical book and a more demanding read. So far based on the others I`ve read I would start with Snow Sense, it`s by far the fastest and easiest read, then move to Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain and then The Avalanche Handbook. Right now I wish I had moved to Backcountry skiing first and then read the Avalanche Handbook after a while! frown.gif

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