Backcountry Skiing Adventures Classic Ski and Snowboard Tours in Maine and New Hampshire By DavidGoodman Appalachian Mountain Club Books (617) 523-0655, ext. 363, www.outdoors.org
Ever heard of Mount Cardigan, Mount Moosilauke, the John Sherburne Ski Trail, or Mount Hale? How about Tuckerman Ravine? All are just a few of the classic backcountry descents David Goodman has highlighted in his new book Backcountry Skiing Adventures: Classic Ski and Snowboard Tours in Maine and NewHampshire. More than half of the 26 tours in the book are suitable for snowboarding, and the author does a thorough job detailing each hike with specific directions, travel distances, elevations, skill levels, maps, and historical background of the areas. While the book has extensive chapters covering New England’s skiing history, mountaineering skills, clothing, and equipment, the biggest section of the book (50 pages) is dedicated to Mount Washington’s different side bowls and peaks, including Tuckerman Ravine (“the most popular destination in the East for backcountry snowboarding”), The Great Gulf (“superb steep mountaineering-oriented snowboard descents for expert riders), Oakes Gulf (“offers fine steep riding”), and others. But the real treasure in Goodman’s work is the section on Mount Katahdin-the largest peak in Maine.
“Its serrated ridgeline and long, sweeping gullies are more reminiscent of the Alps than a MaineMountain,” writes the author. For any rider looking to get off the beaten path on the East Coast, this book will provide plenty of information on where to go and how to get there.-John Stouffer
Snowboarding: A Woman’s Guide Ragged Mountain Press www.raggedmountainpress.com
Snowboarding: A Ragged Mountain Press Woman’s Guide claims to offer “Everything you need to know to get started (and keep going).” Indeed, this volume, written by Women Only Snowboard Camps Head Coach Julia Carlson, includes expertise from her own experiences as well as input from women snowboarders of all levels. “The intent is not to be ‘Julia Carlson goes off on snowboarding,'” explains the author, “but various women of the industry-and a couple of quality guys-offering up their collective wisdom about the sport.” Everything from beginning basics, tips on getting geared up, and tuning techniques are carefully explained, accompanied by high-quality black-and-white photos and illustrations. Also included is a useful resource guide featuring camps, events, manufacturers, and resorts. A straightforward and lively read-lacking the bro/brah slang found in other books on the subject-this offering from Ragged Mountain Press is a thoughtful and thorough resource for women snowboarders of all levels.-Robyn Hakes
Backcountry Snowboarding By Christopher Van Tilburg The Mountaineers Press (206) 223-6303, www.mountaineers.org
The best way to prepare yourself for the backcountry is to take an avalanche course. And although there’s no substitute for taking one, a careful read through Christopher Van Tilburg’s new book Backcountry Snowboarding will give you a good idea of what to expect in the backcountry and how to prepare yourself for the natural experience. The book is an easy read, with plenty of pictures and diagrams explaining the different topics, including the history of the sport, equipment reviews, and mountain and avalanche safety.One of the most interesting elements of the book are the personal anecdotes Van Tilburg peppersthroughout the chapters. He describes his first hike, his worst blisters, some near-miss summit attempts, duct-tape binding repairs, and his first avalanche course. If you’re interested in getting acquainted with the backcountry, this book provides a great picture of what you should be expecting. But in no way should it take the place of a good avalanche course. Read the book, take a course, then get out and experience nature at its winter best.-J.S.
Snowboarding Experts By Christof Weiss Barron’s Educational Series1-800-247-7160, www.barronseduc.com Published by Barron’s Educational Series,
Snowboarding Experts can be used as a training manual for riders wanting to boost their abilities. Written by Christof Weiss, this volume features sections on race, freestyle, and freeriding, and is packed with principles and pointers. Weiss brings a heavy European influence to the project, and it shows in the extensive Alpine section. The freestyle section also features training tips to keep your body in tip-top shape, as well as explaining movements and techniques to execute tricks. Not only does it outline overall strengthening tips, but gives hints for improving specific parts of the execution, like the takeoff, the landing, or the spin.Freeriding is thoroughly defined in backcountry terms. Though the term “freeriding” is generally used todescribe riding done anywhere on the mountain, this text regards freeriding as strictly a backcountry activity,explaining what’s needed and expected during a backcountry adventure. The nature conservancy sectionhighlights some important things to keep in mind (besides your personal safety) when you venture off-trail.And finally, a section on tuning tips and a glossary conclude this book’s dense offering of detailedsnowboarding information.-R.S.