Yesterday was National Read a Book Day, and what better way to celebrate than digging into a long read by a WildSnow writer. What’s that you say? No one reads books anymore? I beg to differ. In fact, books, with their easy mobility (e.g. going out of service) and lack of access to social media influences, might be the perfect antidote for minds overstimulated by the current state of affairs in the world.
So if you don’t read books, maybe now is a great time to start.
Fortunately, WildSnow has long been an incubation spot for some great writers many of whom graduated to book authors this fall. Take a long range ski across Canada in winter with Anders Morley. Deepen your knowledge of moving in the mountains with IFMGA guide Rob Coppillillo. Gather small kernels of outdoor inspired wisdom from Carolyn Highland and expedition to the world’s highest peaks with Mike Marolt.
The world is a weird place to be right now. So, why not go somewhere else?
The Ski Guide Manual by Rob Coppilillo
In his ongoing contributions to WildSnow, Rob Coppilillo can always be depended on to drop some wit and some damn good knowledge. His articles run the gamut, from side by side reviews of the Blizzard Zero G 85 and 95, to a chuckle-worthy trip report of encountering a polar bear in Svalbard, to a state of Chamonix report during the coronavirus lockdown this spring. In his latest book, Rob calls on his own experience becoming an IFMGA guide as well as the experience of many credible others to drop the knowledge hammer on moving yourself, and others, safely through the mountains.
“The Ski Guide Manual, as well as its sister publication, The Mountain Guide Manual, share guiding techniques and strategies with advanced recreationists and less-experienced mountain guides. The SGM tries to present an approach, or system, that ski guides use to make safer, smarter decisions in the snow. There’s everything from closing/opening terrain and guide meetings, to managing steep terrain for oneself and less-experienced partners. And I stole all the information; none of it is mine. Backcountry gurus like Karl Birkeland (developer of the ECT), Colin Zacharias (former head guide at CMH and ACMG guide with 40 years’ experience), Sheldon Kerr (IFMGA mtn. guide), Alex Do (avalanche survivor and writer), Marc Chauvin (IFMGA mtn. guide and co-author of the MGM) all contributed and wrote sidebars. The thing is 300 pages with almost 200 photos — it nearly broke me, but thank God…it’s coming out in November. Phew!”
Published by Falcon Books. Available for preorder on Amazon.
Also stay tuned for a series of The Ski Guide Manual excerpts to be released over the coming weeks.
Natural Progression by Mike Marolt
From skiing Mustagh Ata to offering training and expedition tips, to writing his most recent trip report of skiing in Peru’s Cordillera Vilcanota, Mike’s been a long time contributor to the site. For a full time accountant, he has a lot of energy to make other things including a handful of ski films and most recently, a book. Mike, his twin brother Steve and their childhood friend Jim Gile have made a life of climbing and skiing the world’s highest peaks. Natural Progression tells the tale of it.
From the cover:
“In a How-To Guide based on mountaineering, perseverance and mastering success, Mike shares exciting tales of adventurous accomplishments: he and his brother and Jim Gile became the first Americans to ski from one of the world’s fourteen, eight-thousand-meter peaks; the first Americans to attain multiple, eight-thousand-meter ski descents while skiing the sixth highest peak; and the first American to ski the North Ridge of Mount Everest. In sharing their stories, Mike illustrates how to find a passion and cultivate it, while focusing on the process of natural progression, not the objective, to realize success and true contentment in life.”
Published by Lulu Press. Shop for it.
This Land of Snow: A Journey Across the North in Winter by Anders Morley
In Anders’ debut post for WildSnow, a review of Snow Tales and Powder Trails by Steve Baldwin, he begs the question: “Why is it that skiing has this seemingly mystical hold on its devotees’ minds?” In that precise and eloquent book review, he surmises on the powder addiction that is central to Baldwin’s book, as well as the answers Baldwin offers to that question. It seems Anders wanted at least in some way to answer the question himself, though. He sets out to do so in his new (and first) book, This Land of Snow: A Journey Across the North in Winter.
From the cover:
“A passionate skier since he was a child, Anders Morley dreamed of going on a significant adventure, something bold and of his own design. And so one year in his early thirties, he decided to strap on cross-country skis to travel across Canada in the winter alone. This Land of Snow is about that journey and a man who must come to terms with what he has left behind, as well as how he wants to continue living after his trip is over. It is an honest, thoughtful, and humorous reckoning of an adventure filled with adrenalin and exuberance, as well as mistakes and danger. Along the way readers gain insight, both charming and fascinating, into Northern outdoor culture and modern-day wilderness living, the history of northern exploration and Nordic skiing, the right to roam movement, winter ecology, and more.”
Published by Mountaineers Books. Shop for it.
Out Here by Carolyn Highland
After reading Carolyn Highland’s essay last year about a Grand Traverse race going terribly awry, I was surprised when she told me she’d consider doing the race again. Turns out, overcoming big challenges fuels many of Carolyn’s internal fires, as she tells and retells through a series of essays in her debut collection Out Here: Wisdom From the Wilderness.
From the cover:
“Out Here is a collection of essays that explores what the wilderness has to teach us about the human experience, using outdoor endeavours as extended metaphors for greater truths. Each carefully chosen piece embarks on a different physical and metaphorical journey: managing expectations and reality during a medical emergency in a 40-mile ski mountaineering race; staring down fear and consequences on exposed ski lines in Alaska; re-examining self-reliance and decision-making through heartbreak and snow science; and leaving room for unexpected magic as a female traveling through Patagonia.”
Published by Rocky Mountain Books. Shop for it.
So there you have it, enough reading material at least to get you to the first good snow fall. Also I hear Sir Blogness has been busy on a long form literary work, so stay tuned for that one, readers. It’s going to be good.
Manasseh Franklin is a writer, editor and big fan of walking uphill. She has an MFA in creative nonfiction and environment and natural resources from the University of Wyoming and especially enjoys writing about glaciers. Find her other work in Alpinist, Adventure Journal, Rock and Ice, Aspen Sojourner, AFAR, Trail Runner and Western Confluence.