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 updated third edition of Bruce's best-selling book is organized according to the structure of American Avalanche Association classes, and all topics have been updated and reviewed by peer experts. This edition also features a wholly new chapter in which Bruce pulls all the pieces together to create an organized, step-by-step system for making decisions both off and on the mountain.
Update 2019/20: 3rd Edition
- Revised according to the structure of American Avalanche Association classes.
- New chapter with step-by-step system for decision making on/off the mountain.
The avalanche awareness bible as far as I’m concerned. Tremper’s guide is extremely dense and provides in-depth technical instruction on snow science as well as a very thoughtful section on the human factor. I try to skim it every year and seem to pick up more information as I gain experience.
Every year I will pull this book out in November and start going through the basics again. This is sorta my Bible for skiing and gave me such a leg up in knowledge when I was first starting out. Knowledge is the one thing you can have an infinite supply with you to to carry.
I used to read this book once a year to get me in the avalanche mindset going into a season. I don't read it quite that often anymore, but the information contained within is no less important. This book covers just about everything covered in your typical avalanche class, so it makes a good refresher when your a few months post course.
A great, less-technical resources for those who like to learn from the book in addition to in class. Compared to "Snow Sense", there is a little more decision-making and technical info in this, but still an easy read. Compared to "Avalanche Handbook", there is a more friendly amount and level of information in this for recreational users.
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 snowpacks). - Although the second edition came out relatively soon after the first edition (with some very nice updates), the book could benefit now from a third edition to incorporate more recent research (as does the author’s shorter “Avalanche Essentials” book).
But the bottomline is that whatever your background, if you’re skiing in potential avalanche terrain, then you should buy and read this book.