We all stand on the shoulders of those before us. Learn from pioneers and experienced travelers so you avoid costly mistakes and maximize your enjoyment. This is our growing library of books and maps related to backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering.
Mark Smiley is an IFMGA Certified Mountain Guide who has completed impressive climbing and skiing expeditions all over the world. Most known for his (and his wife Janelle's) attempt at ticking all of the 50 Classic Climbs of North America, Mark is now a proud father who is modernizing the practice of guiding with electronic instructional courses he calls MtnSense. Now he is applyin..
Christopher Kussmaul is a devoted backcountry skier and the author of Peaks and Couloirs, one of Montana’s only modern ski guides which offers an in-depth look at the big mountain skiing within the five ranges surrounding Bozeman, Montana. Outside of the Northern Rockies, his love for the sport has taken him to Pakistan, Nepal, Alaska, and Canada in pursuit of bushwhacks, big verti..
Ski lover? Perfect. History nerd? Excellent! Throw on your best flannel and spend your apres-ski with "Written in the Snows." Written by epic historian Lowell Skoog, you will explore over a century of ski culture in the Northwest, culminating in today's increasing love for sliding on snow. Early ski resorts are the backbone on which the ski industry was built and Skoog dives into t..
Ever wondered why Utah brags about such great snow? Is it really because of lake effect? Or perhaps you know that a lingering northwest flow combined with orographic lift is a good thing for Little Cottonwood Canyon, but can’t actually explain what that means. Thankfully for us, renowned meteorologist Jim Steenburgh took the time to answer these questions and many more in “Secrets ..
Want to take your skis on vacation but not sure where? Got a burning desire to get really far off the beaten path? Or perhaps you're just looking to daydream of faraway mountain ranges. Regardless, the World Ski Touring Guide provides over 300 pages of international ski touring inspiration choc-full of helpful maps, beta, and photos. However, this isn't just a journey to the expect..
It’s hard to overstate the backcountry skiing terrain of Rogers Pass, British Columbia. Think massive faces, steep couloirs, great tree skiing, terrifying yet enticing avalanche slide paths, and playful pillows. Oh, and it’s all covered in legendary interior BC powder. Thanks to Douglas Sproul, it’s now also hard to overstate the area’s guidebook. Rogers Pass is a complex area but ..
Montana is called 'Big Sky Country' for its vast expanses, beautiful vistas, and abundance of mountains. Add snow to those peaks and you can find some of the best ski lines in the west. So many, in fact, that it's hard to know where to start. Thankfully a copy of "Peaks and Couloirs of Southwest Montana" will point you in the right direction. What could easily be described as a tru..
The learning curve for ski touring is forever pointed upwards, even after you've mastered kickturns and reading the avalanche bulletin. So if you could attend an advanced ski mountaineering course with the top professionals in the industry for less than $35, you'd be crazy not to! Well, here's your chance. Rob Coppolillo's "The Ski Guide Manual" covers advanced critical concepts su..
Local avalanche classes full? Gathering with strangers during a pandemic sound like a bad idea? Not much of a textbook reader?
Lucky for you, our friend, badass (ski) mountaineer, and IFMGA guide, Mark Smiley, has put together an online course that serves as a comprehensive guide to avalanche safety. The course is applicable to all skiers - whether it's your first season in the ..
Allen and Mike are back at it again with a helpful little book about avalanche safety. For a beginner, or an expert, Allen and Mike have disclosed this handy book with illustrations and detailed advice on how to stay safe in avalanche terrain. If you're thinking about going backcountry, consider checking out the helpful skills and techniques Allen and Mike's Avalanche book detail i..
After your beacon, shovel, probe, skis, skins, boots, first aid kit, pants, and Skimo Co headband, a trustworthy map is the most important piece of equipment to bring with you into the backcountry. But don't trust just any map to get you to where you want to ski - if you're headed to the Lake Tahoe area or the snowcapped mountains of New Hampshire, pick up one of the Backcountry Sk..
While the Sierra Nevada has long been known to climbers and hikers as the Range of Light, for backcountry ski enthusiasts it might be better termed the Range of Corn. Home to a staggering variety of daylong tours, ski mountaineering objectives, and complex traverses, the Eastern Sierra transforms in spring into a glisse playground of peaks, passes and valleys. With so much to choos..
Colorado's state motto, "Nil Sine Numine," comes from Virgil's Aeneid and roughly translates to, "Nothing without providence." For skiers, the state motto might as well be "Nil sine nix firmitas," or, "Nothing without snow stability." When the Centennial State's tenuous winter snowpack transforms into a bountiful spring corn harvest, the Rocky Mountains open up to skiers hoping to ..
Any trail runners, ski mountaineers, or climbers interested in refining and improving their fitness regimen or training program should race to get their hands on their own copy of Training for the Uphill Athlete. Aimed at providing a universal mountain-based approach to fitness, this tome provides its readers with the keys to a more efficient, thoughtful, and deliberate approach to..
A worthy addition to any coffee table or bookshelf, the "50 Classic Ski Descents of North America" is a stunning visual presentation of the best ski lines this continent has to offer. Authored by celebrated ski mountaineers Art Burrows, Penn Newhard, and Chris Davenport, 'The 50' includes photographs and descriptions of each line, as well as quotes and contributions from many other..
"The Ultimate Guide to Lightweight Winter Camping, Hiking, and Backpacking"
In 2014, Justin Lichter and Shawn Forry set out to be the first hikers to navigate the full length of the Pacific Crest Trail in the winter. Taking four and a half months, the two men walked, skied, and snowshoed for 2,650 miles from British Columbia to the US-Mexico Border. The two men are regarded as e..
When you leave your car at the trailhead and head up into the mountains, being prepared for accidents is as important as bringing water and enough layers. Minor injuries like a broken finger or sprained ankle can quickly grow serious when you're far from the car and out of cell service, and more serious injuries or illnesses are only a slip on a rock or sip of bad water away...
On-the-spot decision making with lightweight, compact, and durable guide books! Beacon Guidebooks is offering up easy-to-digest beta on backcountry terrain in Colorado and Washington. Regional maps accompany aerial photographs and GPS Coordinates designed to provide you pertinent information while keeping wisdom and safety in mind. No guidebook will obviate the need for an avalanch..
To many people, California is a hot desert with too many people that only surf and visit Coachella. For any serious ski mountaineer, however, California should be a seasonal destination for steep skiing and pushing limits. It’s not too far from anyone in the Western US and the conditions are often stable, especially in the spring. The almost-excessive amount of snow sets up quickly..
The 4th Edition of Adventure Medical Kits’ Wilderness & Travel Medicine book is better than ever. If you have spent time in the wilderness you are well-aware that eventually, things happen. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Things happen, even to the most experienced backcountry users. Written by Dr. Eric A. Weiss, a renowned expert in wilderness medicine, this bo..
A handy reference, the Outdoor Knots Book clearly explains every useful knot for backcountry skiing, mountaineering, camping and more. While not a complete bible for knot-nerds, it has easy-to-follow descriptions of the knots you’ll appreciate. With bonus coiling techniques, maintenance tips, and knot characteristics, this book will help you master vertical sports and lounging in a..
The title of this book might as well be “Some of North America’s Most Iconic Ski Descents.” Overflowing with high quality photos, hi-res topo maps, and a whopping 250+ descents, Classic Colorado Ski Descents is the guiding compass for skiers looking to explore Colorado. Whether that’s your home state or your looking to explore the West, this book offers an exciting to-do list. Writ..
The Tenmile-Mosquito mountains are a scenic sub-range of the Colorado Rockies containing a high concentration of 13,000ft and 14,000ft peaks. Situated in relatively close proximity to the Front Range, the Tenmile is known for easy access and dependable snowfall. This select guidebook to the area is illustrated with color photographs and detailed-yet-concise descriptions of the 42 r..
When you envision Colorado ski-mountaineering you likely picture something resembling Rocky Mountain National Park. For good reason as it’s wild and picturesque. Mark Kelly’s guidebook is the ultimate compass that unlocks the secrets of the park and inspires long days in the backcountry. Feast your eyes on some of the most awe-inspiring terrain on the planet. Grab a tank of gas, so..
If making turns in Colorado’s front range sounds like a tick list project for you, then it’s easy to guess which book would be good to read. You guessed it. Making Turns in Colorado’s Front Range is all about doing exactly that. Volume 1 of this series includes everything South of I-70, which encompasses areas like Loveland Pass, Arapahoe Basin, Summit County, and much more. Detail..
If Colorado snow is labeled as gold, this is the ultimate treasure map. The duo of Brittany and Frank Konsella have more big mountain, racing, and mountaineering experience than most people have experience eating. They both have skied all of Colorado’s 14,000ft peaks and fistfuls of other mountains from the top of the state to the bottom. This book has 102 backcountry routes with d..
I don’t always go skiing in California, but if I did I would trust Jeremy Benson to tell me where to go. As a sponsored backcountry skier and avid outdoor enthusiast/author he knows the state better than I know my back yard. Whether you are a backcountry amateur or an experienced veteran, this book has it all with 99 routes to serve any craving...
The Western United States seems to get all the attention within the skiing community but maybe that’s just because New Englanders like it that way to keep the yokels away. Best Backcountry Skiing in the Northeast is the guide book for ski touring of all kinds in the Northeast. Whether you free your heel or keep it locked, prefer skins or fish-scales, enjoy plastic or metal edges, t..
NOLS Instructors Allen O'Bannon and Mike Clelland set out to create a really cool way to teach folks about backcountry skiing, winter camping, and safe winter travel. Nailed it! The effort resulted in Allen and Mike's Really Cool Backcountry Ski Book which is jam packed with information, tips, and comical illustrations. This book is a fun read for any backcountry enthusiast or newb..
Backcountry Skiing Utah: A Guide to the State’s Best Ski Tours offers a delicious taste of each mind-blowing, jaw-dropping zone in Utah. Each zone has enough terrain to make you rethink your life commitments. The best of the best from Logan’s section of the Wasatch all the way down to the Henry mountains which the locals are trying to keep for themselves. SLC-based guide Tyson Brad..
This well-written skimo guide contains everything you need to know to get started racing. Even veterans of the sport will pick up some helpful tips. Written by Skintrack.com’s Stano Faban and Eric Carter who combined have many years of experience racing in World Cup and other ISMF races.
Click here to order the eBook directly from the authors...
It's no surprise that when Christopher Van Tilburg, MD, decided to write a book about skiing in his home state he went above and beyond to create his finest work yet. With 95 highly detailed, skied (and boarded, if you're into that), and researched routes extending throughout Oregon, Southern Washington, and Northern California, this book is sure to give you enough terrain options ..
Martin Volken, is an IFMGA certified mountain guide and AMGA skimo program examiner from Switzerland, so high altitude snow sports pretty much flow through his blood. Because of his oxygen-rich Swiss mountain blood, it was an eventuality that he would write the comprehensive backcountry guide for his current home state of Washington. Martin expertly breaks down 80 different routes ..
The complete guide to the construction, placement, and anatomy of a climbing anchor. Loaded with pictures and diagrams of good examples, bad examples, neat tricks, and all sorts of info to make you an expert on climbing anchors. Just add experience!
Update 2019/20: 2nd Edition
- Terminology distinction between "anchor" and "placement" or "piece"
- Comparision Lists
99 researched, clearly marked, broken down routes are organized and laid out for your enjoyment in Jared Hargrave's comprehensive guide of Utah's backcountry. Whether you are a thoroughbred local or on your first ski trip to the "Beehive State," this book is full of classic ski and board options...
Written by Mark Houston and Kathy Cosley, both of which are UIAGM/IFMGA licensed guides, this book covers everything from the basic alpine environment to proper hazard assessment tools. Learn more about how to make educated decisions and operate safely in the mountains...
Glacier travel can be a very fun and rewarding way to spend your time. However, glacier travel and a lack of education should never go hand in hand. Not designed to be a replacement for any safety courses, but instead a supplement for your knowledge, this book is a wonderful refresher for any questions you may have about getting something out of the deep end of the crevasse...
If you like skiing or mountaineering and you like books that also have to do with skiing and mountaineering, this should be on your must read list. Packed with over 200 photos, detailed instruction, and diagrams, this book will help you understand everything about everything that has to do with skiing in the backcountry. Written by pacific northwest guide Martin Volken along with S..
The Avalanche Pocket Guide is a fold-out field reference pamphlet that's been nicely laminated and has a fancy built in inclinometer. A perfect gift for anyone that spends time outside in the winter...
Avalanche Essentials, a snow safety guide written by Bruce Temper, breaks down the technical science of avalanches in concise and easy to understand terms without watering down the technical aspects. Supplement or refresh your avy training with this book...
This detailed safety guide, written by the former Director of the Utah Avalanche Center, Bruce Tremper, is a must for anyone that spends time out-of-bounds. Complete with a staggering 180 photos and diagrams, this book is not a replacement for an Avy Safety Course, but should be used by everyone to supplement their knowledge of safe travel in dangerous terrain.
This revised and ..
A board-certified emergency physician's guide to staying safe and healthy at altitude. This updated second edition guide includes the latest and greatest information about everything from preparing for your first high altitude adventure to different types of high altitude drugs and symptoms of high altitude sickness...
The life of Doug Coombs, the legendary steep-skiing pioneer, is told through the eyes of Robert Cocuzzo in this epic biography. Complete with words like fall line, beacon, Napoleon complex, and a breakdown of avalanche science, this book is sure to intrigue anyone interested in learning about the life of one of the greats...
Referred to by many as "The Bible of Mountaineering," this all-time bestselling guide written by over 40 climbing instructors is the preferred reference when you can't ask Siri how to properly self-arrest on a glacier...
Molly Absolon has done just about everything that's cool in life. She’s one of those people you aspire to be when you grow up. Luckily for us, she wasn’t just enjoying the outdoors for herself: she is an avid environmental educator, a retired NOLS instructor, and author. Basic Illustrated Alpine Ski Touring covers all the ski touring basics and can be an excellent refresher for vet..
Climbing and Skiing Colorado’s Mountains is a detailed guide book about Colorado written by native Ben Conners and transplant Brian Miller. The impressively detailed list highlights 50 of Colorado’s legendary ski descents. It also includes info on suggested gear, detailed pictures, local beta, and topographical maps throughout the book. Whether you are from Colorado or from a diffe..
Andy Tyson is a seasoned NOLS Instructor, guide for Alpine Ascents International, and a veteran Exum Mountain Guide. Needless to say, Andy has years of high mountain experience. Mike Clelland is a NOLS instructor and the life-breath of this wonderful book. The two of them got together to write Glacier Mountaineering which is an intelligent guide to safe-travel on glaciers with a un..