When we published my Easy Colorado Ski Tours book last year, I was thinking it was a total anomaly to the worldwide guidebook landscape. At best, the book would sell moderate numbers, at worst I’d be the butt of mean jokes –“the guy used to be a ski mountaineer, now he’s a wimp.” I never heard the jokes, and the book did better than moderate. So I was happy and moving on to other projects, thinking it was fun to do something different, but would we ever see another English language guidebook focusing on safe, easy routes you could live to tell about?
Seems we have a trend happening — that is if you count two “safe tours” books as a social movement. Seriously, when I saw Nordhal and Sande’s new book, Safer Ski Touring in Norway, I thought “Great minds think alike,” and began dreaming of new editions and fun “research” for my own mini-tome. More, I began entertaining disturbing thoughts such as “another trip to Norway, easy to find the right tours for Lisa and I…”
The Norway book is more of what we’ve come to expect from Fri Flyt publishing, and authors Nordahl and Sande. A guidebook couldn’t be any higher quality: oblique color photos of every route; legible maps; GPS chords (in easily keyboarded decimal minutes format); excellent translation to English from the 2016 Norwegian version. While I’ll need to visit Norway to actually test the book, I don’t have much on the criticism side. They could have done away with a short and soon dated “Equipment” section in the back. Moreover, a lengthy avalanche safety treatise in the front material seems redundant as one can now find so much of that in venues ranging from other books to the internet — not to mention avalanche education programs.
So, the verdict is easy. Here we have fully 111 Norwegian ski touring routes where, as the subtitle says, “you can avoid avalanche terrain.” Clearly, we’ll need to visit Norway and test that premise. Meanwhile, if you’re having even the slightest tiny little Norwegian fantasy, and are not interested in cheating death but instead intentionally avoiding it, this book belongs in your home. And eventually in your carry-on.
(As of this blog post, the book is not on Amazon, but we expect it to appear shortly.)
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.