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Backcountry Skiing: Skills for Ski Touring and Ski Mountaineering (Mountaineers Outdoor Expert Series) Paperback – November 30, 2007


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Backcountry Skiing: Skills for Ski Touring and Ski Mountaineering (Mountaineers Outdoor Expert Series) + Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain + Snow Sense: A Guide to Evaluating Snow Avalanche Hazard
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Product Details

  • Series: Mountaineers Outdoor Expert Series
  • Paperback: 339 pages
  • Publisher: Mountaineers Books (November 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594850380
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594850387
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Backcountry Skiing is a brain-dump of some of the most dialed ski mountaineers in the U.S.." -- Backcountry Magazine <br /><br />"Impressive volume." -- AmericanTrails.org <br /><br />"[A] backcountry bible." -- --Skiing Magazine <br /><br />"Backcountry Skiing is strongly recommended for anyone contemplating skiing mountain terrain in winter conditions anywhere in the U.S. and Canada." -- The Midwest Book Review<br /><br />"Great content, quality writing, excellent photos, attractive layout--it's the best and most authoritative book on ski touring and ski mountaineering." --Wenatchee Outdoors by Andy Dappen

About the Author

Martin Volken received his IFMGA certification in his native Switzerland and is the owner of Pro Ski and Guiding Service in North Bend, Washington. He has been guiding all facets of mountaineering since 1992 in the United States and abroad. He has pioneered several first ascents, ski descents, and ski mountaineering traverses in the North Cascades. Martin has appeared on the cover of Outside magazine as well as in several other industry publications. He is involved in product development for K2 and Outdoor Research and is an examiner for the American Mountain Guides Association. He resides in North Bend with his wife, Gina and his two daughters, Andrea and Christina. Martin has also published Backcountry Skiing Snoqualmie Pass, a guidebook for the Snoqualmie Pass area in Washington State.

Scott Schell is a certified AMGA Ski Mountaineering Guide and has guided extensively throughout the United States, including Alaska, as well as in Canada and Europe. An avid ski mountaineer, Scott has been involved in avalanche and guiding education as an instructor and trainer for AIARE and a former AMGA ski discipline instructor. As the former manager of Pro Ski Service in Seattle, he saw the need for a ski mountaineering book that would provide a comprehensive source for the backcountry skier. While toting his cameras throughout North America and Europe, Scott has captured many memorable and compelling images through the trained eye of both a photographer and mountain guide. To learn more about Scott's work, please visit www .schellphoto.com. Scott's passion for ski mountaineering, alpine climbing and the outdoors is only surpassed by his affection for his longtime partner, Margaret.

Margaret Wheeler is a ski, alpine, and rock climbing guide who has led trips throughout Europe and North America. An active member of the guiding community, she is an instructor of guide training for the AMGA and serves on its board of directors. She is involved in avalanche education through her work as an AIARE instructor and trainer. In the development of her ski mountaineering career, Margaret has been a member of several women's expeditions pioneering first ski descents in India and the Altai mountains of Mongolia. In 2006, she became the second woman in the United States to complete her IFMGA/UIAGM certification. She holds a bachelor's degree in history from Dartmouth College and a master's in mechanical engineering from University of Washington. When she's not in the mountains, Margaret works part-time for a Seattle-based engineering fi rm, and lives in Snoqualmie, Washington, with her long-time squeeze, Scott.


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This is a book for people new to the sport or experience backcountry travelers!
Tiffany Love-Chezem
I used to teach alpine touring and ski mountaineering in the army and this would have been a great book to have around as the textbook.
Alfromcolorado
It allows beginners to develop a good base of knowledge and provides a great reference for those with years of experience.
Duff

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Booker on December 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
It's bizarrre: For as huge as backcountry skiing has grown, the definitive "how-to" manual hasn't been written. Until now.
I own everything from Lito Tejado-Flores' ancient book "Backcountry Skiing" to the slim "Allen & Mike's Really Cool Backcountry Ski Book" and about three avvie and ski-guidebooks. None of those has everything that today's newbie Alpine ski-tourer needs to know.
But this book by Schell, Wheeler and Volken has it all. And while experienced backcountry skiers might be able to skip parts of chapters, and skim others, this longtime backcountry skier was surprised (and a little embarrassed) how much he learned -- the mountain-guide authors cover in detail things like seated belays, various shelters, placing protection on ice, and building several kinds of anchors. Pair this book with an even more detailed avalanche-awareness book (or better, a class) and you'll be ready for the mountains this winter.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A. Pulsipher on January 22, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This probably is the sixth of the Mountaineers Outdoor Expert Series books that I have purchased as published by the Mountaineers Books. As with those other texts, I was able to learn some things and was surprised and disappointed at the information which was not covered. This book is no exception.

On the positive side, there is very good instruction on roped skiing and on situations requiring belay stations and stances with skis. The avalanche safety section is good, but not definitive. The strong point of this book is the techniques for skiing in various terrain, along with the transitions that inevitably occur. For this, I would say this is one of the better, more up-to-date instructional books.

A big disappointment comes with the lack of depth in discussing the merits of various gear options. For example, in the beginning there was a brief illustration of the history of telemark vs. alpine touring setups, followed by a bare discussion about the merits of each. This fundamental question is then quickly dismissed simply by the statement "the best answer remains to choose the right tool for the job, or quite possibly to go with whatever style you prefer." That completely misses the point on why someone would buy this in the first place; these experts should give much more information to the reader before the readers embark on the very expensive quest to discover this for themselves...the reason for an "expert" series in the first place.

Another example is their discussion on ski weight. It starts out good, but then the authors punt again by saying "Shop at a store where the salesperson can answer technical questions and can point you in the right direction for your intended application." But isn't this the reason one would buy this book??
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alfromcolorado on January 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a great book. Not too basic and not too advanced for someone wanting to get into the best way to ski-the earn your turns way.

I used to teach alpine touring and ski mountaineering in the army and this would have been a great book to have around as the textbook. We taught all of this and then went in depth on the important items like avalanche safety (avoidance) and rescue. This book gives a beginning or intermediate ski mountaineer a taste and encourages AIARE level one certification (I recommend level two personally...)

I still have my copy of the past standard, Peter Cliff's out of print classic "Ski Mountaineering" (no, I won't be selling it on EBay) and this is an improvement on it.

It is great for learning and a great review for those that think they remember everything. I got some good tips on gear that, damn, I SHOULD have known!!!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Chris on December 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
Scott Schell, Margaret Wheeler and Martin Volken have teamed together to write the definitive guidebook on backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. All three authors, who are either IFMGA or AMGA certified mountain guides, have organized the discipline of backcountry skiing into ten concise chapters that take the reader through such topics as gear selection, avalanche preparedness, ski mountaineering, and mountain rescue techniques. One highlight of the book is the clear photos and graphics to demonstrate the useful skills and ideas that are helpful in the backcountry. For example, I recently used the skin cutting guide for my new touring skis. The step-by-step instructions and accompanying photos walk you through the essentials to match your skins perfectly to your skis. Instead of just describing what specific items you need for safe travel in the backcountry, the book has clear pictures of such items and procedures as a basic ski mountaineering rack, building an emergency sled, and crevasse rescue just to name a few. Make sure you have a highlighter and sticky notes to mark important information for you'll find yourself returning to this handy guidebook time and again for further reference. "Backcountry Skiing" is designed for both the experienced backcountry skier looking to hone his/her skills and the novice seeking to strectch his/her limits outside the ski area boundary.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. Brady on December 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
Nothing is left out of this comprehensive guide. I have been backcountry skiing for several years, but this book still had many new ideas for me. And a beginner would find a huge amount of practical advice - would save years worth of trial and error on your own! The steep snow and glacier travel sections are also really well done.
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