9/18/2016
 
(Full disclosure: I assist Steve with his Beacon Reviews website, but I don’t benefit financially from either the website or any of his book sales.) Despite the temptations for such a genre, this book keeps a safe distance from the overhanging cornice of sensationalism or boasting. So the writing is clear yet engaging, and the accounts are both exciting yet educational. If you’re just getting into a SAR team or ski patrol, this book can serve as a highly valuable preview of what you might encounter in the...
9/18/2016
 
(Full disclosure: I helped to write some of the chapters, but I don’t financially benefit at all from the proceeds.) This manual is a must-read for anyone first getting into skimo racing. All those little tips & tricks that so many of us acquired through trial & error (especially error!), it’s pretty much all in here. Plus the links to specific start times in Youtube videos pick up where text descriptions and still photographs have their inherent limitations. My only quibble would be that some of the gear...
9/18/2016
 
Reading the first edition of this book inspired me to take my first advanced avalanche course (back in 2003 when Level 2 courses were relatively rare). And now for years I’ve been assigning it to all the avalanche courses I teach. Yes, it’s that good! My only minor quibbles are: - The snow stability tests are kind of a stretch to learn from a book. - Overall the book overemphasizes the ability to make safe decisions based on stability assessments (given the inherent uncertainty in almost all winter snowpa...
9/18/2016
 
An excellent comprehensive treatment of a specialized yet important topic for ski mountaineering. But from a ski mountaineer’s perspective – well, that’s the problem, it just isn’t. Many pictures show rescuers with ski boots, but the book definitely isn’t written with the skier in mind specifically (except for a very short passage). Almost all in-the-field training courses on glacier travel and crevasse rescue suffer from the same problem, assuming that you’re already carrying all sorts of climbing gear tha...
9/18/2016
 
The “bible” nickname is apt in many good ways, since Freedom of the Hills possesses an ancient lineage, draws on the impressive wisdom and knowledge from its authorship, covers a wide range of topics, and is very lengthy. However, just like you wouldn’t want to model your entire lifestyle on the stories of the Hebrew Patriarchs, you wouldn’t want to model your light & fast ski touring on this book. Plus the Volken et al. “Backcountry Skiing” addresses almost everything related to mountaineering that a ski m...