The original CD (Chris Denny) from Denny Inc. stopped by the shop the other day to show off this cool new mountaineering book: Free Skiing: How to Adapt to the Mountain, which includes many tips relating to ski mountaineering. The book was put together by Swed, Jimmy Oden, who now resides in Switzerland. Jimmy is a fully certified UIAGM mountain guide and I believe also works for the Movement Ski Company in Europe.
I was pumped when I first saw this book. I’ve heard about a few other people trying to get a ski mountaineering guidebook out, but this is the first I’ve seem come to print so far. The book has over 350 pages of quality photographs, ski stories, illustrations and diagrams, instructional and educational material. The illustrations are much like those of the popular “Freedom of the Hills” book and are very helpful in getting the point across.
The book includes the basics of mountaineering in regard to anchors, forces and belays, as well as glacier travel, first aid and rope work. What make it different is that it also covers much more ski specific subjects like route selection, beacon use, avalanche information and my favorite…how to kick turn. The book has a large section dedicated to weather also, which is very important to the ski mountaineer, whether it be in regards to the snowpack or personal safety.
I thought this book was pretty cool. It’s got some great recommendations and images…as well as stories that remind me of those that Mark Twight used to tell…but these are about skiing. It is well made and printed on heavy stock paper. It also has a nice protective cover (CD’s favorite) to protect the valuable information inside. Really though…I felt like this book had soul…as opposed to just a 1,2,3, ‘how-to’ book. It’s priced at $65 (cuz it’s from Europe) but definitely worth it for someone interested in ski mountaineering or just adding to the collection. They are currently available at Freeskiing.nu and I think we will be getting some in the store soon. We also sell Movement skis btw…in case you were wondering. Live to (Free) Ski!