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Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain Paperback – September 30, 2008

4.9 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain
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  • Snow Sense: A Guide to Evaluating Snow Avalanche Hazard
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  • Avalanche Essentials: A Step by Step System For Safety and Survival
Total price: $41.56
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Why buy it? With winter recreation in the backcountry steadily increasing over the years and avalanches the number one cause of death and injuries in winter, knowledge is one of your best defenses." --The Fort Collins Coloradoan

About the Author

Bruce Tremper is a foremost expert on avalanches and has been the director of the US Forest Service's Utah Avalanche Center since 1986. He has been featured on many news programs and in national and international television avalanche documentaries, including those produced by National Geographic, PBS, BBC, and the Discovery Channel. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 318 pages
  • Publisher: Mountaineers Books; 2 edition (September 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594850844
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594850844
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Peter S. Roland on May 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
I own 6 of the most popular books on avalanche safety; this is by far the best. The core information needed to assess avalanche risk is given in some detail but the explanations are presented in "everyday" terms and are quite easy to understand. None-the-less,Tremper never talks down to his readers and the full level of complexity inherent in the subject matter is maintained. This is simply a very well written book by an author who appearantly is able to write well naturally. He would probably do very well writing about any subject.
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Format: Paperback
Bruce Tremper has written the book compiling modern information about avalanche dragons & staying safe in their lair. From the first hand narrative of Bruce's introduction to the power of avalanches to the avalanche actuarial table illustrating the necessity of making good decisions to detailed specific information for backcountry travellers trying to stay safe on skis, snowboards & snowmobiles Bruce shares the knowledge gained from his 25yrs of professional avalanche experience. Full of firsthand wisdom, gentle humor, terrific illustrations & photographs this is a very readable text on what often is a very dry subject. Everyone who knows Bruce's Utah avalanche forecasts will have an idea of what to expect. Everyone else can look forward to enjoying a common-sense easy to understand book written with passion & humor on state of the art avalanche safety for backcountry travellers. If you travel in avalanche terrain you want to read this book.
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Format: Paperback
In Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain, Tremper has found the "sweet spot" in modern avalanche education. With the changing demographics of winter backcountry users, it is becoming increasingly difficult to satisfy everyone all of the time. Tremper pulls it off with a writing style and progressive approach that is easily digested by novices, yet technically insightful for snow safety veterans. The book is also unique in its "cross-cultural" approach to snow safety, addressing the subject from the perspective of not just skiers, but snowmobilers and snowboarders. This comprehensive, yet entertaining book will become core reading material for students of snow safety for years to come.
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This is an excellent, highly enjoyable introductory book to avalanche safety. Tremper nicely balances technical detail with readability far better than any avy book I've seen. With its copious figures and pictures, it's almost impossible to get bogged down in the middle chapters and abandon the effort. Additionally, his chapter discussing the influence of human nature on avalanche accidents is unique and highly insightful. This is a wonderful first book that will inspire many readers to pursue further avalanche training, and hopefully save lives.
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Format: Paperback
This book is comprehensive and very thorough. Even though it's the first book I've read on avalanche safety and do not have much experience in winter mountain travel I found this book very easy to read and comprehend. Some parts are repetitive and I wish I could skip them but I'm afraid I might miss an important point. The last chapter on human mentality is very insightful and perhaps it sets this book apart from others.
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Format: Paperback
The books is written in a easy to follow style,no-nonsense,and contains both academical info about avalanches and practical , hot tips. A lot of valuable information is packed up in this book. The book is also copiously illustrated with both photos and graphical drawings to reinforce the knowledge contained in the text.

All in all, it's a book that everybody which deals in mountain sports , or professionaly work in avalanche exposed terrains should read this book.
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I have to agree with what I believe to be the majority - those who state that this is THE book to purchase if you buy only one book on Avalanches.

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.
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Looking at available information, both in book form and other media, this title seems to contain the current state-of-the art in avalanche knowledge and may be an invaluable compendium for the avalanche professional but is way too detailed and getting lost in scientifically pertinent but operationally irrelevant detail as it applies to the recreational outdoor enthusiast. As a primer, I found "Snow Sense" by Fredston/Fesler to be the most actionable, hitting the sweet spot between relevance and focus. Although Tremper's own "Avalanche Essentials" condenses most of the key information in "Staying Alive" into a much smaller volume, I would consider it the advanced level handbook on the topic, it also crams too much very specialized information into too long a text for an intro volume.
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