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In Search of Powder: A Story of America's Disappearing Ski Bum Paperback – November 1, 2010


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In Search of Powder: A Story of America's Disappearing Ski Bum + Living the Life: Tales From America's Mountains & Ski Towns
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bison Books (November 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803228392
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803228399
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #539,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"If you're an ex-ski bum, this is required reading. If you remember those days, ditto. Or if you just like tales of men and women on the edge, give it a read." -- Nevada Appeal

"It's a terrific book in almost all respects - we wish it had an index, but that's a quibble. Most of all, we liked his long chapter profiling Keith Erickson. We didn't know him the way we know him now." -- Mammoth Times

"Evans captures the gritty details of this esoteric lifestyle to a degree not accomplished elsewhere." -- Sports Literature Association

"A story about the new American West and those crazy, courageous cowboy souls who strap on skis and live for powder days as a means to find their true essence of peace and happiness. ... A ballsy piece of journalism." --Tahoe Mountain News

"Like surfing, skiing first went from sport to lifestyle during the 1960s and thus came of age with the baby boomers. They made skiing sexy and rebellious, and then they made it a big business." -- Wall Street Journal

"A provocative new book."—Sam McManis, Sacramento Bee
(Sam McManis Sacramento Bee 2010-11-14)

"[A] superb book about ski towns like ours."—George Shirk, Mammoth Times
(George Shirk Mammoth Times 2010-10-01)

"Evans' book chronicles all this in fine details, gathered over several seasons of boarding and interviewing. He has all the history, all the names and all the places. If you're an ex-ski bum, this is required reading. If you remember those days, ditto. Or if you just like tales of men and women on the edge, give it a read. And keep an eye out for Evans, he's still riding our slopes."—Sam Bauman, Nevada Appeal
(Sam Bauman Nevada Appeal 2010-10-03)

"In Search of Powder is a comprehensive, well-written and well-reasoned homage to a lifestyle that many of us yearn for, secretly or otherwise."—Ted Holteen, Durango Herald
(Ted Holteen Durango Herald 2010-12-13)

"Evans tells the story of quintessentially American characters—rejecting materialism, taking risks, following their own paths—and of the glories and pitfalls their lifestyles present."—ForeWord e-newsletter
(ForeWord e-newsletter 2011-01-20)

In Search of Powder by Jeremy Evans is funny, irreverent, hedonistic, saucy, insightful, and ski-obsessed. Much like the ski bums detailed within.”—Rob Story, editor at large of Powder and Skiing magazines
(Rob Story)

About the Author

Jeremy Evans is a former daily newspaper reporter whose eight-year journalism career garnered numerous writing awards for his outdoor and sports writing. He is currently a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Powder and Skiing magazines. Glen Plake is an iconic figure in American freestyle skiing and extreme sports.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By RES Jr on October 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really wanted to like this book, but I found it fell well short of my expectations. The author begins the story with his own experience that leads him to quit his job and move back to Lake Tahoe to chase the dream of being a ski bum. Like a lot of prospective readers, I once harbored such ambitions, and was expecting a rollicking ride through that lifestyle. Instead, the author tells the story almost entirely through the experiences of others, often introducing so many characters in the space of a few pages that it's hard to keep track. And sadly, most of those people never really come alive on the page.

The central theme of "In Search of Powder" seems to be a morality tale in which the noble ski bum who discovers a resort town in it's early days eventually gets squeezed out by the success of the resort, which drives up real estate values and makes a ski bum existence next to impossible. So what I had hoped would be a fun book about underground ski town culture instead took on a rather depressing angle, spiked with bitterness about the growing commercialization of the sport. I'm not saying the author's point isn't valid, but it's a far cry from the book I was expecting.

My biggest criticism is that for a book of this genre, there are precious few pages devoted to actual skiing and snowboarding. The book delves more into ski resort economics than floating turns through deep powder.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Victor Locke on March 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
If you live in or near a ski community you will immediately identify with the stories Jeremy Evans tells in this book. He provides an introspective look at the lives of avid skiers (ski bums), the communities in which they live and ski, and the impacts of resort growth on both the communities and those individuals. Jeremy's writing style makes this an enjoyable, relaxing read. But it is also an eye opener to what happens to resort communities as ski areas strive to survive. As a journalist of 40-years, I appreciate Jeremy's depth of story telling (reporting). He obviously beat the bushes to uncover and tell this story, and the stories of each character contained within this book. It may not be made into a movie, but if you ski, live in a ski area, have interests in ski resorts, or are concerned about the future of ski areas, our mountains, and our nation's beauty you will enjoy "In Search of Powder: A Story of America's Disappearing Ski Bum. It will both entertain you, and open your eyes! Check it out and see how it might pertain to your life or town. You might be surprised.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Klein on October 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
For anyone who lives in or near a major ski town, this is a good read that they will be able to relate to. For anyone who once enjoyed the ski-bum life and ever wondered why it can't be done like the good-ole days, this is a good read. The author explores the ever-changing economics of how the ski-bum life got squeezed out over time. His travels to ski towns give the book good local color. The stories told by former ski-bum types in addition to those who have worked for or in the ski industry are fun reads. Bottom line, it's all about having a good time and living life to the fullest. The ski bum life of the 1970s and 1980s might be a gone, but this book shows that this is a life that continues to evolve.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good reading. Not enough about UTAH. Ski Bum's haven't
disappeared, they just all moved to Salt Lake City !!
However, very true about real estate prices in places like
Jackson Hole or all of Summit and Pitkin counties Colorado.
Skiing has become a sport for the affluent. Back in the day,
parking a camper-van in most any 'big-resort' was not a problem.
Van-camp these days, and they'll run you out of town.
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Format: Paperback
While I agree that the title may be a tad misleading and that "In search of powder" could probably be changed to "The evolution of the search for powder", this book is an important insight into skiing as an industry, ski towns, the evolution of the demographics and socioeconomics of skiing, etc. Jeremy does a terrific job of describing the problems with modern day resort skiing/snowboarding, which I believe need more exposure and awareness. As the story progresses chronologically we see how economics are eroding the purity of skiing and therefore ski bum culture as well. True, this book is not exactly a tale of one person's love of skiing or the bliss that is a powder day, but it is an important read to snow sports enthusiasts.

This book is a terrific compliment to the film Steep (Steep) or vice versa, as many historical figures in skiing are documented in both. If there is any confusion or the characters in the book don't make sense, watch the film to help paint the picture of the history of skiing + ski cinematography.

I wish I could have seen Aspen, Park City or Jackson in the 60s and 70s but was born too late. Other ski areas exist today, without question, where the unfortunate part of the story hasn't played out, and I hope the tide will turn even in the towns mentioned; we'll see. The type of purity Jeremy exhorts in the epilogue is still out there, but primarily on the periphery (... and moreso in bouldering or the chalky walls of Yosemite than in skiing, dirtbags rather than bums I suppose). As one who loves skiing to the core, I'd love to see Wall St. walk away from skiing, but again, we'll see. The Indian Peaks got a few inches this morning, so I'm heading up to welcome June on Mt. Toll tomorrow, sponsored by no one.
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