- Paperback: 284 pages
- Publisher: Mountaineers Books (October 1, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0898868343
- ISBN-13: 978-0898868340
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 95 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,063,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain Paperback – October 1, 2001
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"The textbook for course instructors." -- Skiing Magazine
If [you have room] for just one avalanche safety book, you will be well served by [this book]. -- Couloir
Just about everything a book can teach you about avalanche safety. -- Ogden Standard-Examiner
Top customer reviews
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In the review title, I state that the book makes a complex topic intelligible. You have to understand that this isn't simple material. Any book on avalanches should be read with the attention that you'd give any textbook. It's your life, after all, and even the experts are learning on a day to day basis. To think you could flip through a couple of hundred pages and know it all is unrealistic at best, and delusional at worst.
Having said that, Bruce does a great job at making the learning "stick". I already had the first edition and purchased this second edition to get current on updates. Snow science is evolving.
There's no substitute for hands on training (e.g. Level-1 course given by a certified AIARE provider - http://aiare.info/), but a book like this is an excellent companion ... to be read both before AND after your course.
While the book does give you some quick checklists, it also presses home the point that evaluating avalanche risks reliably requires years of experience (and even then can fail you), so you definitely can't accuse the author of leaving you with a false sense of security.
Part of the book was a bit too detailed for me (e.g. a dozen different ways to test snow stability), though it might be handy when doing a practical course (which this book obviously does not replace).
Throughout the book there are great pictures, some of them chilling. I'd have liked to see more pictures (e.g. terrain examples, snow crystals) and in better print quality, even if that had increased the cost of the book a bit.
I'm not an expert, and this is the only book I've read on the topic, so I can't judge the accuracy of this book. However the list of reviewers in the acknowledgments section looks like a who's who of avalanche research, so I'm reasonably confident that the information in this book does represent the current knowledge accurately.