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50 Classic Ski Descents of North America Hardcover – November 14, 2010


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50 Classic Ski Descents of North America + Training for the New Alpinism: A Manual for the Climber as Athlete
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Capitol Peak Publishing (November 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982615434
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982615430
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #890,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

I ll cut right to it. The new book, Fifty Classic Ski Descents of North America, could be to ski alpinists what a relic is to religious fanatics. Get this tome into your presence, and the 12 x 13 inch coffee table compilation of mind blowing photos and well written text will have you rubbing your hands over the cover in homage, and carrying it around cradled in your arms like something a priest tasked you to bring out of an icon repository. Icon on the alter. I found the crampon compatible votive candles at backcountry.com. Seriously, you will find this book to be life changing. At first you might weep with frustration, since few of us will ever do more than a handful of the selected routes. But after your grief subsides, you will bow in respect to what's been done in North America, and find yourself spending hours, perhaps even days, going over the photos and text. You might even quit your job. While I wouldn t use the word worship for my feelings about Fifty Classics, (I reserve that for the big guy upstairs), the concept does apply. Take segid (respect and homage). Once you crack this tome, you have to respect the effort it took authors Burrows, Davenport and Newhard (BDN) to come up with a photography selection that is simply insane (50 photographers, no less!). Yes, the book does cover fifty ski descents and alpine ski traverses as the title implies, but each mountain and route is documented with numerous photos that go beyond anything you ve ever seen in a skiing book. Different angles, different light. Action shots. Landscapes. Aerials. All processed with modern computerized technique by Photoshop master Burrows. Randomly open to any page, and hope Obamacare covers pacemaker surgery as your heart skips. I ll do it. Closing my eyes now. Bam, page 173, South Face of University Peak, Wrangell St. Elias, Alaska. Seven thousand vertical feet of Alaskan fury. Only been skied once. Might be the best line in the world. Or how about sebo (fear and reverence). Closing my eyes again.... aha, page 121, Combatant Couloir on Mount Combatant, British Columbia. Read Mark Synott s account of skiing, including an entrance that he downclimbed first because it was so steep, then climbed back up and glissed after he realized it was possible. Put yourself in his place as he self actualizes and substitutes steel edges for steel ice tools. Sebo. Which brings me to how Fifty Classics is put together. Authors BDN give us introductions to each region, as well as the occasional intro style text for a given route. But they turn the actual blow-by-blow descriptions (for many but not all routes) over to sixteen contributors (and themselves, in the case of Davenport). And well they should, as a number of routes in the book have only had one descent, so the only way to get impressions of a trip down things like the North Face of Mount Robson would be to interview the practitioners, or simply get it written in their own words. With skillful editing and selection of contributors who are mostly published writers, doing so truly turned out fantastic. Sixteen excellent stories will keep the readers among us entertained that is if you can quit staring at the photos. It s sort of like reading Playboy magazine. Yeah, right. But you might get to the articles eventually. That s not saying every one of the fifty routes has an I-was-there story. But you ll find enough of that to grace many evenings of armchair skiing. One of the best stories in Fifty Classics is Pete Costain s tale of his first descent of Mount Stimson (Glacier National Park.) This is wilderness adventure skiing at its best, far different than most of what folks do in central Europe, and indeed a big part of what makes North American ski alpinism such a frontier and what makes our brand of skiing have an ethos all its own. --WildSnow.com

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
Amazing,zawe inspiring book!
maya f giernet
The book is beautiful and full of amazing pictures..
Nancy J. Garrison
This book really opens up new ideas in new places.
Mark

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert S Bogner on July 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As I am a ski mountaineer myself and know (slightly), a few of the skiers portrayed in this book; when it first appeared I was extremely anxious to see what they were skiing, hiking, writing, and photographing. In these respects, even tho the book was very high priced, I was not dissappointed. The writing, character portrayals, and photographs were even better than expected. However, in most mountaineering books there are diagrams of the assent and descent routes implanted in the photographs so that both the hike up and the ski descent down can be seen. These were totally absent, leaving me at a loss as to where they climbed and where they skied. Hopefully this vital aspect of a ski mountaineering book will be corrected either by adding "overlays" to the photos, or with a supplemental CD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nancy J. Garrison on January 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When my 32 year old Son opened this gift up he was like a child. He was thrilled.. The book is beautiful and full of amazing pictures.. Couldnt be happier.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Amazing,zawe inspiring book!
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By Amazon Customer on March 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Grate book - The photos in it are spectacular and a must have for any ski mountaineer. The back stories are awesome and makes you want to dream. The toughest part is keeping my friends from taking home for themselves.
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