We know the wait for winter is long and hard. To help you endure the dog days of summer, we've put together a list of our favorite ski-centric reads. No book reports required.
1. “Higher Love: Skiing the Seven Summits” by Kit DesLauriers
With her October 18, 2006, ski descent from Mount Everest, Kit DesLauriers became the first person in the world to ski from the top of the Seven Summits. Her book, published in 2015, recounts the journey. One reader wrote, "I wept at the end with exhaustion and relief… felt like I had been up and down those mountains with her." DesLauriers has also bagged first ski descents of some of the highest peaks in Alaska, New Zealand, the Alps, and Siberia, is raising two daughters with her husband, Rob, and made the first female solo climb and ski of 13,775-foot Grand Teton in 2013. Oh, and she also claims two World Freeskiing Women’s Champion titles. Yeah, I'll have whatever she's having.
2. “White Planet: A Mad Dash through Modern Global Ski Culture” by Leslie Anthony
Written by POWDER senior correspondent and former Managing Editor Les Anthony, “White Planet” is a humorous and insightful take on the evolution of modern ski culture around the world. The Denver Post called Anthony "the modern-day Dolores LaChapelle, spreading the often-garbled stoke of skiing with wit, intellect, and passion."
3. “Night Driving: The Invention of the Wheel and Other Blues” by Dick Dorworth
The skiing road trip. Ever had one? Of course, you have. But probably not like this. “Night Driving,” by Dick Dorworth, was originally published in full in the mid-1970s by the cult mountain rag The Mountain Gazette, and republished in book form in 2007. In it, Dorworth weaves thought-provoking tales about driving (often drug-induced and sleep-deprived) across the country between ski towns, and down to the South America to climb the Fitz Roy. It's irreverent, provocative, and beautiful, and will make you want to drop everything, grab your skis, and hit the road. Bonus book from Dorworth: “The Straight Course,” stories about speed skiing in the 1960s. In 1963, Dorworth set the speed-ski record by going 106 mph at a course in Portillo, Chile. He was wearing leather boots. So there's that.
4. “Freedom Found: My Life Story” by Warren Miller and Andy Bigford
Warren Miller's autobiography, released in the fall of 2016, follows the late filmmaker's life from his earlier years growing up during the Great Depression to the family, relationships, and days spent in the mountains which ultimately influenced the creation of more than 750 films, several books, and hundreds of published non-fiction stories. Miller passed away earlier this year at 93 making this a timely read. Read our full review here.
5. “Tracking the Wild Coomba: The Life of Legendary Skier Doug Coombs” by Robert Cocuzzo
As POWDER Editor-at-Large Matt Hansen wrote, there are many things readers will carry with them after finishing this exhaustively reported biography by Robert Cocuzzo. "Whether it’s Coombs' early years as a budding fearless skier who broke his neck going way too big off a jump at Waterville Valley, his rebellious days with the Jackson Hole Air Force, his unique and casual approach to guiding clients down the gnarliest terrain of their lives, to being a husband and father, and finally, to his fateful accident in La Grave, France, on April 3, 2006, that took his life–there is much to consider." The title is now available via audio book. Read our full review here.
6. “God of Skiing” by Peter Kray
A coming-of-age novel set in Jackson during skiing's golden era of the 1970s, “God of Skiing” is a celebration of skiing then and now, and a worthy tribute to the joy this silly sport gives us. Read our interview with Kray here.
7. “DEEP: The Story of Skiing and the Future of Snow” by Porter Fox
What began as a feature story in the September 2013 issue of POWDER grew into one of the most prolific books on this list. Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore called “DEEP” "the must-read story of how global warming is transforming the future of snow and the future of skiing. A powerful call to action for anyone who cares about the future of our planet." The video below provides a bit of insight to the book's origins.
8. “Northland” by Porter Fox
Speaking of Porter Fox, the longtime POWDER editor and scribe just launched a new book documenting the history and issues surrounding the U.S.-Canada border, or as he calls is, the "forgotten border." Over the course of three years, Fox paddled, hiked, rode freight cars, and drove across the northern tier of the U.S. “Northland” follows his 4,000-mile adventure and reveals the boundary's untold stories.
9. “Will You Believe In Me? A Story About Skiing and Friendship” by Matt Sterbenz and Ingrid Ochoa
Written for a younger reader, this is a true story of 4FRNT founder Matt Sterbenz and his friendship with Olympic skier David Wise. The story takes young skiers inside their experience as they build a ski together and begin a journey that teaches the power of trust. Read our full review, by 9-year-old Camryn Reddick, here.
10. Deep Powder Snow: Forty-Years of Ecstatic Skiing, Avalanches, and Earth Wisdom” by Dolores LaChapelle
No list of great ski writing would be complete with the works of the Queen Mother of Skiing, Dolores LaChapelle, who's autobiographical account of her life spent in the mountains of Utah, Colorado, and Switzerland beginning in the 1940s, is full of absolute gold like this:
"There is an experience of 'nothing' when skiing powder. But the idea of nothingness in our culture is frightening, and we have no words for it. However, in Chinese Taosit thought, it’s called 'the fullness of the void' out of which all things come. My experiences with powder snow gave me the first glimmerings of the further possibilities of mind."
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