I hesitate to bring up Larry the Cable Guy, but since his stage comedy catchphrase is “GITERDONE!” he’s the first thing I thought of when I heard about the latest ski touring publication from Giterdun Publishing here in Colorado. Also, I guess I’m busted for listening to him on XM.
In any case,Giterdun. Perhaps they’ll add a new definition, that of getting a nice peak descent DONE!
Giterdun’s series of three guidebooks sticks with eastern Colorado. For now, anyway. For those of you who’ve followed my stuttered career as a writer, it’s true that at one time I was trying to produce a series of ski touring books for Colorado. I was ahead of my time on that and we didn’t sell enough books to make the project truly viable. Then I got into web publishing and paper/ink fell by the wayside like one of those trees they chop for paper pulp. With much more interest in backcountry skiing as well as the relative ease of desktop publishing, Giterdun has already exceeded where I left off and that’s nice to see. While Colorado might not have the most reliable snowpack on the planet, it’s still a cool place for ski touring. We deserve good guidebooks just like anywhere else.
Giterdun’s first publication, in 2012, was business owner Fritz Sperry’s “Making Turns in the Tenmile/Mosquito Range.” This beefy 290 page guide covers a pile of peaks and routes that would take most people years to explore. The emphasis is on steeper skiing; I’m hoping another edition will add in more ski tours and places for powder laps, but overall an essential book for any Colorado ski mountaineer.
Next in line, author Mark Kelly’s guidebook covers Rocky Mountain National Park. While the “Park” is known more for alpine climbing than for skiing, his offering will open your eyes to excellent possibilities. A slew of color photos do the trick, along with a nice balance of extreme descents with moderate glisse adventures.
The latest and third Giterdun publication will be “Making Turns in Colorado’s Front Range, Volume 1 – South of Interstate 70,” due out in a few weeks. Again written by business owner Fritz Sperry, the “Volume 1” in the title portends to his covering ever more areas of Colorado in greater detail. I’ve always felt that guidebooks, since they are guide books, should be detailed and not generalist. So nice to see that trend with Giterdun.
As many of you know from past guidebook reviews, I’m a fan of including at least a modicum of GPS waypoints to save time tediously creating them (as in, reinvent the wheel). While Sperry’s Tenmile/Mosquito book has trailhead coords, that’s about it. The RMNP book has no GPS coords. Perhaps the copious and sometimes wordy details in these books make up for the lack of GPS info, as well as the reasonably legible topo maps and a wonderful variety of photos. You be the judge, just allow time for map research if you feel the need for GPS.
In all, get the trilogy if you’re a Colorado skier — or just planning a visit.
Out of deference to his retailers Fritz doesn’t sell on Amazon (don’t get him started). But you can get the books directly from him or from ski touring specialty shops around the state. Beyond all that, my over arching hope is that yes, Larry will see these books, take up ski mountaineering, and will be seen skiing without speaking other than the occasional joke involving the relationship of Ptex with his haircut.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.